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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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Senior Month, Senior Drive

Help Just Like Family collect NEW items for our Seniors in Need

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May is just around the corner and that means it is time for Just Like Family Home Care’s 2nd annual Senior Collection Drive. Join JLF as we celebrate Senior Citizens in My. During the month of May through June we are collecting NEW items to distribute to Seniors in need in Southwest Florida.Last year the drive was a huge success because of our partners’ generosity and support. We ask that you participate this year by helping us collect as much as we can for our Seniors. In June, items will be distributed to St. Matthews House and Goodlette Arms. I talked to a spokesperson with St. Matthews House earlier this week and I am told the summer months are when they’re in the most need. People are so generous around the holidays, but our hope is that this Senior Drive will spark giving year round. Last year we donated more than 50 boxes worth of items and I am confident we can surpass that this time around!

How can you help? Create your own Senior Collection Drive. We have marketing materials and custom boxes available.

Suggested Items include:

  • Soap
  • Shower Gel
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Facial Tissues
  • Throat Drops
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Softener Sheets
  • Dish Soap
  • Dish Towels
  • Household Cleaners
  • Sweaters for Men or Women
  • Pajamas
  • Slippers
  • Undershirts for Men
  • Pajamas
  • Slippers
  • Undershirts for Men
  • Socks
  • Greeting Cards
  • Stamps
  • Crossword Puzzle Books
  • Puzzles
  • Books
  • Tea Bags
  • Coffee
  • Canned Goods
  • Bottled Water
  • Ensure
  • Reading Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Knitting Supplies
  • Deck of Cards
  • Calendars

When your box is filled, simply phone us at (239) 431-6661 and we will pick up your collection. Thank you for your help and support and we look forward to working with you in the coming months!


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Spring Cleaning!

Spring “sprung” back on March 20, but it doesn’t really start feeling like the season until April comes around.  Once it’s April, you can really feel the change in the air (and the air finally getting above freezing up north!).  Spring brings spring rain, spring flowers, and, of course, spring cleaning!  It’s a great idea to clean out the old living space once a year, and make certain you aren’t drowning in superfluous flotsam.  When you’re older, it can be very easy to let decades’ worth of living take over your home, and be lacking the physical capabilities to do something about it.  You may not even be able to keep up with simple housecleaning chores throughout the year because of poor health or mobility, making that annual purge all the more important.

So, where do you even start?  And how do you stay safe while you clean?

Make a List

The first thing to do is make a list for yourself of what you’re going to be cleaning, so you can keep it all straight and make sure you get to everything you want to.  Doubly important is a list of safety tasks to make sure you’re keeping yourself safe while you clean, like making certain hallways are clear of clutter that you could trip over, getting rid of expired food or medications, and making certain bulbs in lights and batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are up to snuff.

Get a Crew Together

Once you know what you’re going to be cleaning, don’t try to do it alone!  Get your friends and family to help you.  Not only will this make it take less time, it’ll make the effort far safer, and far more fun.  Don’t overexert yourself, and never lift heavy objects on your own!  And remember, you’re never alone: many retirement communities even have “cleaning clubs” to take care of these sorts of things as a community.

Make it a Party

Use this opportunity to be social and make stronger connections with your loved ones.  Cook for everyone and play bouncy music while you work to help pass the time and make the affair a positive experience for everyone.

Start with the Piles

Are there piles of clutter in your home?  Start there!   Organize those large piles first, don’t just go around them.  You can’t very well be sweeping the floor with piles of magazines and knickknacks in the way!

Don’t be Afraid to Trash

It can be hard to let go of some things, but you should always be ready for the future.  Use this opportunity to throw away now-useless items that are just taking up space.  This will reduce dangerous clutter, and also get you ready in case you have to move to a smaller home in the future.  If you can’t bring yourself to throw away something, but know, in your heart, you don’t need it, give it to a loved one for safekeeping instead.

Don’t Ignore the Details

Scrub and polish every surface, and sweep every floor.  Make sure there’s nothing left that could cause a fall in the future, and cover any potentially slippery surfaces with a rug.

Double Check Before you Finish

Before you wrap up the cleaning, double-check those bulbs and batteries, and make a note of anything you need, like new medications, replenished emergency supplies, fire extinguishers, and lists of emergency contacts.  Don’t just clean, make sure you’re prepared.


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Health Foods for the Elderly

The Mental Health Association of South Mississippi put together this list of 52 health foods for senior citizens, to help improve mental acuity, bone health, and more.  We wanted to share it with all of you, as these really are a great base to start from when planning your loved one’s diet.

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Brain Food-These foods improve brain function, help you maintain memory and more.

  1. Shellfish: Shellfish contains B12, iron, magnesium and potassium; great for brain function.
  2. Salmon: Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart and brain.
  3. Eggs: Eggs contain choline, a type of B vitamin that is good for memory and stress management.
  4. Almonds: Almonds are often touted as a good brain food, giving you lots of energy.
  5. Fruits and vegetables: Fruits/vegetables have great health benefits; and the brain loves green, leafy veggies.

Bone Health-As we get older, our bones get weaker. Women in particular are at risk for osteoporosis.

  1. Fortified milk: Make sure the milk you’re drinking is fortified with Vitamin D.
  2. Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is estimated to have between 318 and 156 mg of calcium.
  3. Cabbage: Cabbage raises estrogen levels, which is good for aging women.
  4. Calcium-fortified soy milk: If you’re lactose intolerant, try fortified soy milk.
  5. Collards: Just 1/2 a cup of collards contains about 20% of your recommended daily calcium.

Dental Health-Keep your teeth strong and cavity-free by eating these foods.

  1. Raisins: ScienceDaily reports that the “compounds found in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease.”
  2. Water: Water is essential to good oral health.
  3. Raw broccoli: Raw broccoli is rich in magnesium, which teeth love.
  4. Cooked spinach: Cooked spinach is another good source of magnesium.

Avoiding Empty Calories-Seniors require less calorie intake than younger people, the calories they do consume should be full of proteins and vitamins, not sugars and alcohol.

  1. Peanut butter: In moderation, peanut butter is a good snack, it lower cholesterol and keeps you full longer.
  2. Dark chocolate: “Dark chocolate is healthy chocolate,” and in small servings, it’s a great alternative to heavy desserts.
  3. Milk: Milk has calcium and Vitamin D, and it’s also good for weight loss.
  4. Nuts: Unsalted nuts are a great snack. They keep you full longer and give you nutrients.
  5. Fiber-rich foods: Foods with a lot of fiber keep you fuller longer and are better for your digestion.

Antioxidants-Antioxidants are attributed with helping prevent cancer and helping your body get the most nutrients from your food when it breaks it down.

  1. Carrots: Carrots are rich in beta-caroten. Steam carrots if raw ones are too crunchy.
  2. Spinach: Raw and cooked spinach are both good sources of lutein.
  3. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are soft and have lots of beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Be careful of extra sugary yams, however.
  4. Tomatoes: Eat tomatoes to get the antioxidant lycopene.
  5. Blueberries: Blueberries are considered good brain food and are rich in antioxidants.

Low-Sugar-Sugary diets are full of empty calories and can lead to diabetes. Ask your doctor about starting a low-sugar diet to fight off excess weight gain, fatigue and more.

  1. Diet, caffeine-free soda: If you’re a soda-oholic, try a diet, caffeine-free one. Water is best.
  2. Whole grain breads: Multigrain, whole grain and mixed grain breads have a low glycemic index.
  3. Apples: Apples have a lower glycemic index than oranges, peaches and bananas.
  4. Low-fat yogurt: Instead of ice cream, have some low-fat yogurt for a snack.
  5. Vegetables: Snack on fresh veggies for sugar-free and low-sugar snacks.

Digestion and More-If you need help fighting constipation, colon problems or UTIs, check out this list with your doctor.

  1. Red beets: Red beets are said to help constipation symptoms.
  2. Cranberry juice: Drink 100% cranberry juice (not cranberry juice) to ward off UTIs.
  3. Raw foods: Raw and unprocessed foods are best for warding off colon cancer.
  4. Prunes: Prunes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps digestion.
  5. Turnips: Include turnips in your meals to get even more dietary fiber.

Eyesight-For some seniors, eyesight weakens over the years. Your diet may help.

  1. Garlic: Garlic has a lot of sulfur, that produces a kind of antioxidant for the eye called glutathione.
  2. Lutein: Foods with lutein, like kale and spinach, are good for eyesight.
  3. Onions: Onions are also rich in glutathione.
  4. Low sugar foods: High sugar diets may make, AMD or age-related macular degeneration, worse.
  5. Fish Oil: Fish oil found in mackerel, salmon, flax seed and walnuts, help preserve eyesight.

Low-Salt-Sodium is a concern for many seniors, below is a list of low-sodium foods.

  1. Lima beans: A 3.5 oz. serving of canned lima benas only have 1 mg of sodium.
  2. Blackberries: Blackberries just have 1 mg of sodium per 3.5 oz. serving.
  3. Roast beef: Roast beef without extra sauces only has 60 mg of salt per 3.5 oz. serving.
  4. Okra and Tomatoes: This hot veggie dish is still low sodium.
  5. Apple sauce: If sodium is an issue for you, make or buy a low-sodium apple sauce to snack on.

Fruits and Veggies-Raw fruits and vegetables or lightly steamed vegetables are the best choice for getting the most vitamins and minerals per bite.

  1. Kiwi: Kiwi is one of the few fruits that contains riboflavin, which helps release energy from carbs.
  2. Peas: Peas are another food that can help your body get energy from carbohydrates more easily.
  3. Mushrooms: Mushrooms have more potassium than oranges and can lower blood pressure.
  4. Cauliflower: Eat cauliflower for a faster metabolism, which slows as you get older.
  5. Summer squash: Summer squash is easy to prepare. It’s also a good source of niacin.
  6. Strawberries: Strawberries have antioxidant benefits and Vitamin C.
  7. Peppers: Peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene and Vitamin C. They also contain potassium and iron.
  8. Leeks: Eat leeks to get a good serving of folate.


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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.

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Amazing Elderly Film Characters, Part 1

It’s a sad truth that elderly characters are given short shrift in film and television.  The “key demographics” tend to skew young, and for whatever reason, producers assume that they don’t enjoy watching older characters on the screen.  “Golden aged” characters either don’t appear at all, or, when they do, they’re portrayed as full of every elderly person stereotype out there.  The irony, though, is that on the rare occasion Hollywood does it right, and creates an elderly character that is realistic and respectful, they’re almost always one of, if not THE most memorable characters from their films or shows!

So let’s take a look at some of these rare best-of-the-best elderly film characters.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, just a few of our favorites, and we’ll share more soon.  If you haven’t seen these films yet, you should absolutely check them out.  Let’s start with a trio of male characters portrayed by iconic actors…

Emmett “Doc” Brown – “Back to the Future” Trilogy

NewfaceChristopher Lloyd wasn’t elderly when he first played the eccentric, brilliant and lovable “Doc” Brown.  He first played the hyperactive inventor when he was in his mid-40s.  But the time traveling nature of the story meant that Lloyd got to play the character both in his early 40s and in his early 70s.  The 70s version got a lot more screen-time over the course of the Trilogy, and got to save the space-time continuum, rescue a damsel-in-distress (and later woo her), help his young friend Marty make his family better, and even departed the story at the end of the Trilogy to go off on further adventures with some elegant and wise parting words for the teenaged Marty.  He was also hilarious, full of life and energy, and utterly brilliant (if a bit insane)!   All-in-all, a wonderful character, and a wonderful depiction of an (over)active senior kicking butt across time!

Lucius Fox – “The Dark Knight” Trilogy

Lucius-Fox-batman-begins-11593854-843-361Morgan Freeman has basically made a career out of playing respectful, awe-inspiring characters, including God Himself!  But out of all of his star turns, his quiet, powerful dignity comes through most obviously when he isn’t the focus of the story, like with Lucius Fox, CEO of Wayne Enterprises in “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”  In a Trilogy of Batman films, it’s Lucius (and another wise, older mentor, Alfred Pennyworth) that give the superheroic Batman his grounding.  Without Lucius and Alfred, Batman, A, wouldn’t exist, B, would have died countless times, and C, would have gone snapped without support.  But if Alfred helps Bruce Wayne keep his heart, Lucius helps him keep his mind, reminding him of his limits, giving him a moral framework, and generally being the most loyal and trustworthy person in the entire story.  He’s also another brilliant inventor, butt-kicking businessman, and looks great in a bow tie.

Warren Schmidt – “About Schmidt”

aboutschmidt1Jack Nicholson is best known for playing powerful, all-consuming characters who chew scenery like giraffes (in the best possible way), but it was his quiet, somber turn as Warren Schmidt that most stuck with us.  “About Schmidt” is very much a story about roads not taken, and opportunities lost, something that people deal with with increasing frequency as they age.  Schmidt is, even in his personality, utterly unremarkable and unmemorable, but we learn about the man inside the quiet shell over the course of the story, as he confronts losing his wife, learning harsh truths about his career and marriage, and effectively loses his daughter to a man he is mortified she is marrying.  But we also learn about how even the most seemingly unremarkable life is important and can make a difference.  If you haven’t seen this film, bring tissues for the ending.


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Winter Tips for the Elderly

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With another big freeze gripping the northeastern United States, now seems like a good time to pass along this set of tips for elderly people who are dealing with living in the extreme cold right now.  While our area remains a comfortable temperature, many of us have at least one elderly or infirm family member or friend living up in the deep freeze.  These tips, originally written by Andrea Lee on Care.com, are for them!

Avoid Slipping on Ice
Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. “Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months,” says Dr. Stanley Wang, a physician at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations.

While younger people often recover relatively quickly from such injuries, older adults face complications, which Dr. Wang says are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65.

Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and stay inside until the roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to making walking easier. Take off shoes as soon as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles and, once melted, can lead to slippery conditions inside.

Dress for Warmth
Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia — a condition where the body temperature dips too low. According to the CDC, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65.

So don’t let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. Going outside? Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.

Your body temperature should never dip below 95 degrees — if it does get medical assistance immediately.

Fight Wintertime Depression
Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation.

To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible; even a short, daily phone call can make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends, where each person looks in on one or two others daily.

Check the Car
Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone. But it is especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits — or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. Also make sure your AAA membership is up-to-date in case of emergencies.

Prepare for Power Outages
Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Longer power outages can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer so keep a supply of non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold on hand. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around a lot to raise your body temperature.

Eat a Varied Diet
Because people spend more time indoors and may eat a smaller variety of foods, nutritional deficits — especially Vitamin D deficiency — can be a problem. Nicole Morrissey, a registered dietitian in southwest Michigan, recommends consuming foods that are fortified with Vitamin D, such as milk, grains and seafood options like tuna and salmon.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and buying an updated one if you need to.

Read the entire original article HERE.