We solve one of the most difficult challenges facing families today...caring for loved ones requiring in-home companion care and personal assistance.

How Social Media Can Prevent Isolating
Your Senior Loved Ones
A geriatric psychiatrist speaking at a conference on public health & aging said, "If I could write a prescription for companionship, what a difference that would make." In his practice, this psychiatrist visited homebound elders who were experiencing a range of health problems and declines - and many of these adverse health outcomes were precipitated by the compounding effects of loneliness, isolation and grief.
The negative health effects of isolation are fast becoming a public health crisis. Studies are now affirming the link between loneliness and an increased risk of early death and compromised health. According to a  2012 University of California San Francisco (UCSF) study, isolated seniors have a higher risk of physical and cognitive decline than those who are connected and active socially, and a 2015 Brigham Young University study compares the dangers of prolonged isolation with those of smoking and obesity.  
Seniors tend to be more isolated because of health and mobility issues (hearing loss is a significant reason seniors choose to isolate, a National Council on Aging study says), and because of grief and loss related to losing spouses, friends, and relatives. An article citing 2014 Administration on Aging data says 35 percent of women over age 65 are widows, and a Council on Contemporary Families research paper suggests that, by the time people reach age 85, fully 40 percent live alone.  
But another growing trend among older adults that may help turn this tide of isolation? Social media usage. And caregivers of older adults can help facilitate these online connections. Here's how:   

Every Vaccine You Need After Age 50  
If you've lost track of which shot you last got - or are worried you don't know the latest about something like the new shingles vaccine - check out this list of what you need, when
Just a little pinch. For many of us, the word " vaccination " conjures images of dreaded trips to the pediatrician decades ago. But it's not all about the kids. Adults - yes, even those 50 and older - need a poke to protect against serious, and potentially lethal, diseases.
Protection from some of the vaccines you received as a child can wear off over time, and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sometimes change. "There are new vaccines that have come out in the past several years, specifically aimed at older adults," says Morgan Katz, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

How to Convince a Senior to Wear Adult Diapers
Incontinence is an embarrassing condition that is often difficult for a person to accept and deal with. Many seniors try to ignore this new development and carry on with their lives, but a head-in-the-sand approach usually draws more attention to the problem. Fortunately, there are ways to encourage a loved one to address this issue, but they require patience, understanding and a commitment to upholding your loved one's dignity. 
Change Your Vocabulary  
"My parent won't wear adult diapers and it drives me nuts!"
This is a common complaint for caregivers whose loved ones are suffering from incontinence, and I absolutely sympathize. However, one glaring piece of this sentence stands out to me: the use of the word "diaper." The first thing I urge caregivers to do when tackling this sensitive topic is think carefully about their word choices. Seniors often rebel against the word "diaper" as an adult of any age would-and for good reason. This word implies a piece of clothing used for a baby or toddler who has yet to be toilet trained. What adult would take kindly to this word when it's applied to them?

Sunday, September 9 is National
Grandparents Day
Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September after Labor Day, and it is the perfect opportunity to spend time with the grandparents we love so much!

The History of Grandparents Day
Marian McQuade hoped to establish a national day that would honor grandparents, and in 1970 she began a campaign to do so. McQuade raised awareness about senior citizens throughout the 1970s. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be National Grandparents Day. Each year, the president issues a proclamation to keep the tradition going.

Grandparents Day has both an official flower and song. The official flower is the forget-me-not, and the song is Johnny Prill's "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa." Both were chosen by the National Grandparents Day Council.

Many people honor their grandparents through a range of activities such as gift-giving, card-giving, and for children to invite their grandparents to school for a day where they participate in special lessons or special assembly programs. Many school students take part in story-telling activities that relate to their grandparents, as well as art or poster competitions where children often use a story about their grandparents in their artwork. This day is also an opportunity for people to appreciate and express their love to their grandparents through kind actions such as making a phone call or inviting their grandparents for dinner.


At Visiting Angels of Pikesville, the care we offer those coping with Alzheimer's is one we embrace, but also one we look forward to ending with a cure. Until that day comes, we understand that care is more than a daily activity for caregivers. That is why we're a proud supporter of the Alzheimer's Association. In the past 5 years, Visiting Angels offices throughout the country have generated over a million dollars in donations to help in the fight to End Alzheimer's disease.
Visiting Angels of Pikesville welcomes your participation on our team! Join us on our Walk to End Alzheimer's.     


To all our clients and staff who are observing,
May this Rosh Hashanah
usher in a New Year
filled with health, happiness and sweet moments for you and your family!