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Easy Ways to Prevent Common Injuries

As we age, our physical health may begin to decline. It may be harder to stand up quickly or walk for long distances. If you or a loved one live on their own, it is a good idea to install some safety measures throughout the house. They may not seem necessary, but if they can prevent a fall, then it is very worthwhile. Falls are the most common injury seen in older Americans visiting the emergency room. These falls can do real damage as the body ages. There can be bruises or bleeding, but also broken bones, hips, or concussions. Take a look at some of these injury prevention ideas that you can implement in the house.

Prevent common injuries

Wear Non-Slip Shoes

This is a very cheap, simple way to try and prevent falls. Shoes with a lack of traction can easily cause you to tumble. Invest in a comfortable, easy to put on pair of shoes with a non-slip sole. Velcro is recommended as laces can become untied and tripped on.

Replace Carpeting & Remove Rugs

If your home has areas where the carpeting is coming up, you should replace it. It is easy for someone to get a foot caught. It is a good idea to get rid of rugs. These can move when stepped upon and cause a fall.

Double Railing for Stairs

One railing may seem like enough, but having railings on both sides helps a lot. It will allow you to put your body weight on the railings, making it easier to climb the stairs. You can then focus on making each step, rather than worrying about balance.

Motion-sensor Lights

These lights can be switched on once someone walks into the room. They are great for the night, if you need to get up and do something. The motion sensor will sense your movement and turn on the light. This allows you to better see where you are walking.

Grab Bars & Shower Seats

These should be placed in areas like the shower or tub. Inside the bathing area it is also useful to have a steady shower seat, so you don’t need to stand for a long time. Placing non-slip mats inside the shower and outside will ensure you don’t slip easily on the wet surface.


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Top Exercises for Seniors

Top Exercises for Seniors

top exercises for seniorsHave you been looking for ways to get in shape? Get inspired with this list of the top exercises for seniors. These exercises are generally low impact and can be done without specialize equipment or the gym. The National Institutes of Health recommends focusing on four types of exercises:

Stretching: These exercises will help increase your range of motion, allowing you to do more.

Strength: Help build muscle and increase metabolism.

Endurance: These activities will increase your heart rate and breathing. They include walking, jogging, swimming, and more.

Balance: These exercises are important to prevent slips and falls. Almost 300,000 people are admitted for broken hips each year, most of them being seniors.

Strength Exercises

  • Arm Raises

These can be done with or without weights. It involves sitting in a chair with your back straight. Hold  your hands straight down with your palms facing inward. Raise your arms from your side to shoulder height. Repeat this 8-15 times, whichever is most comfortable.

  • Knee flexion

Stand with your back straight, holding something stable for balance. Bend one knee slowly so your foot lifts behind you. Hold this position then lower your foot. Repeat this on each leg about 8-15 times.

Balance Exercises

  • Side Leg Raises

Stand with your back straight behind a table or chair. Hold the chair or table for balance and slowly lift one leg about 6-12 inches off the ground. Keep your feet facing forward, don’t point your toe down. Lower your leg and then repeat with the other leg. Do this about 8-15 times on each leg.

  • Heel-to-Toe

Find an area to walk in a straight line. Put your heel just in front of the toes on your other foot. Each time you step they should be touching. This will help improve balance tremendously.

Endurance Exercises

  • Walking briskly on a level surface

Be sure you are dressed appropriately. If the weather is hot, wear light color clothing. If it is warm, bring a coat or jacket, hat, gloves, or scarf if necessary. Make sure your shoes fit properly and are comfortable.

  • Swimming

If you have a pool or live near one, then you should be swimming a few times a week. This is a great, low impact exercise that works out your whole body. Be sure to buy goggles so you don’t irritate your eyes underwater.

Stretching Exercises

  • Tricep Stretch

Grab a towel and hold one end in your right hand. Raise and bend your right arm to allow the towel to drape down, hold this position. Reach behind your lower back and grab the bottom of the towel with your left hand. Move your left hand higher up the towel, pulling your right arm down. Go up only as far as is comfortable. Reverse the position and repeat, holding the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Let us know if you have any more top exercises for seniors! We’d love to hear from you.


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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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Driving for Seniors

imagesAre you or a loved one starting to feel the effects of aging? The aging process can have an effect on your driving skills. There are no age limits for older drivers, but it is recommended to get your eyesight tested, be certain your loved ones aren’t worried about your driving, and make sure driving doesn’t make you nervous or overwhelmed.
All of these concerns should be taken into account when you consider whether or not to give up your ability to drive. It may seem hard to give up that independence, but the safety of yourself and other drivers and pedestrians needs to be taken into consideration.
Eyesight
Have you noticed it is difficult to read signs? Is the headlight glare at night bothersome? Are you able to properly navigate at night? Be certain that your seat is high enough so you can see over the steering wheel. If you wear glasses, make sure the prescription is up to date and get prescription sunglasses if needed. It is also recommended if you are over 60 to visit the eye doctor each year.
Control of the Vehicle
Be certain you are able to physically control the vehicle. Is it difficult to look over your should when you change lanes? Is walking a concern? Do you get pain or out of breath walking up or down stairs? Answering yes to any of these questions should prompt you to consult your doctor. Be sure when you drive that you are comfortable, that mirrors and your seat are in the proper positions so you can see.
Feel Safe Driving
Have you had any dizzy spells recently? Has your vision become blurry? Be sure to wait a while before driving, or have a friend drive you if you have been feeling dizzy. If you recently took medicine it may cause you to become fatigued, so it is best if you do not drive right after. Try to avoid driving during busy times of the day, plan your outings for during the day.
Loved Ones Concerned
If your loved ones have expressed concerns over your driving it may be a good idea to enroll in a mature driving class. These are offered by AAA and AARP. It is also smart to give your loved ones a call or text when you plan to go out and when you return home, so they know you are safe. If it becomes a major concern, ask them to provide rides for you or set up rides with a transport service.
If you ever need a ride to a doctors appointment, event or you just need help running errands, call Just Like Family Concierge Transport Services 


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Big News for Cure Alzheimer’s

n-ALZHEIMERS-large570Anyone who knows anyone effected by Alzheimers can appreciate the breakthrough research that was announced this week by the journal Nature. For my family, this is BIG news. My grandparents have been very active in Cure Alzheimer’s and anytime one is dedicated personally and financially in a cause, it’s exciting to see all the hard work pay off. At Just Like Family Home Care, we are asked to take care of many patients who have Alzheimers. While all illness is challenging to care for, Alzheimer’s is one of the hardest to watch. I’m am excited about this research and I hope it continues to fuel new findings that will ultimately lead to a cure.

See the full article below:

For the first time, and to the astonishment of many of their colleagues, researchers created what they call Alzheimer’s in a Dish — a petri dish with human brain cells that develop the telltale structures of Alzheimer’s disease.

So begins a new story in the New York Times by science reporter Gina Kolata announcing breakthrough research just published by the journal Nature.

The research, conducted by Dr. Rudy Tanzi and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) colleagues Drs. Doo Yeon KimSe Hoon Choi and Dora Kovacs and funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF), demonstrates for the first time precisely how the protein Abeta (the main component of plaques) stimulates the creation of tau “tangles.” Further, the researchers identified a key enzyme in this process.

“It is a giant step forward for the field,” Duke Univeristy’s Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy told the Times. “It could dramatically accelerate testing of new drug candidates.”

The Tanzi breakthrough simultaneously boosts Alzheimer’s research in three vital ways:

First, it gives reseachers final confirmation of the “amyloid hypothesis,” a long-disputed theory about the earliest stages of the disease.

Second, it provides a promising new therapeutic target. “Here we show for the first time that Abeta deposition by human neurons is sufficient to lead to tangles,” said Tanzi, director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at MGH and chairman of CAF’s Research Consortium. “If you block the amyloid deposition, you block tangles from forming downstream.”

Finally, the experiment was conducted with an innovative and powerful new tool: use of human Alzheimer’s neurons derived from non-embryonic stem cells grown in a petri dish. “We call this system Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish,” Tanzi said. “This is the first time anyone has successfully recapitulated amyloid and tau pathology in a single human neural cell culture. It creates a near-ideal lab model of the disease that will help us dramatically accelerate drug testing.”

Jeffrey L. Morby, Chairman of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, welcomed the research breakthrough and the high-level recognition. “We’re so gratified that Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals, and The New York Times, the newspaper of record, have both recognized the profound importance of this research. But we won’t rest on these laurels. We are already leveraging these exciting discoveries into even more aggressive research. We are determined to stop this dreadful disease as soon as humanly possible.”

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The New York Times story can be found here. Please note, it is Times policy not to mention the names of funders when covering scientific studies.

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Want to learn more about Dr. Tanzi’s research? Watch his presentation during our symposium live stream on Wednesday, October 15.


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Become a Caregiver for Just Like Family

Caregiver and male patientJust Like Family Home Care is a Nurse Registry that takes applications at all times. As an independent contractor registered with our company, we will refer clients to you that meet your availability and skill level.

Please download the caregiver application and fax to (239) 431-6690 or mail to our office. If you have any questions, you may direct them to info@justlikefamilyhomecare.com or call our office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at (239) 431-6661. The application must be complete including copies that you need to include according to your skill level. Please also download a copy of the rules and regulations that apply to your skill level. We also have physical forms available to download if you need one.

Click HERE to download the application


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JLF celebrates 107-year-old client Mary Curtean on Senior Day

photo-9August 21 is Senior Citizens Day. While we hope that you think of our seniors every day of the year, Senior Citizens Day is a reminder to spend time with a senior, make plans to volunteer, share stories and memories, help with chores or errands or just do something fun with a senior! 

At Just Like Family Home Care, we took the day to honor a special client who brings our company and our caregivers so much joy! Mary Curtean is 107-years-old. 

Mary’s family reached out to Just Like Family Home Care last year after she fell in the middle of the night. “She is still very active at 107 years old, so we’ve been hesitant to put her in a quote on quote institution. We found Just Like Family Home Care and it was perfect for my mother in law and perfect for our family. This was the first place we saw and it clicked. It’s not just a name, you walk in and you feel just like family,” says Nina Curtean, 74, Mary’s daughter in law.

For the past year and a half, the Curteans have had a caregiver stay with Mary every night from 7:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m. “It’s not an easy decision, but it was 100 percent necessary and the right move. My mother-in-law is very independent and she insisted she didn’t need someone to ‘watch her sleep’, but the reality is, someone needs to be there just in case. Just Like Family Home Care has given us such piece of mind,” says Nina Curtean. “My mother-in-law’s caregiver Marta is unbelievable. She gives her heart and sole as a caregiver. Loyalty is a very rare quality, but it’s very important and Marta has that quality. I couldn’t be happier with her and Just Like Family.”

The Curteans are able to work directly with Just Like Family Home Care to personalize all of Mary’s home care needs. “Just Like Family is special. They’re detailed in everything they do. You ask them for anything and they will do it,” say Nina Curtean. “My mother in law is a very simple woman. She loves to live because life was great for her. She just enjoys it, but aging has played a role and it changes a person and a family. We would not be able to do what we do today without Just Like Family.”