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

September is Healthy Aging® Month
September is Healthy Aging ®  Month, an annual health observance designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older, began over 20 years ago. According to Carolyn Worthington, publisher of Healthy Aging ®  Magazine,
September is Healthy Aging
®  Month provides inspiration and practical ideas for adults, ages 50-plus, to improve their physical, mental, social, and financial well being."

According to Worthington, "We saw a need to draw attention to the myths of aging, to shout out 'Hey, it's not too late to take control of your health, it's never too late to get started on something new.' Why not think about the positive aspects of aging instead of the stereotypes and the negative aspects?" 

September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month since it is time when many
people think about getting started on new tasks after the summer. Drawing on the "back to school" urge embedded in everyone from childhood, the observance month's activities are designed to encourage people to rejuvenate and get going on positive measures that can impact the areas of physical, social, financial and mental wellness. September is Healthy Aging® Month was first introduced when the baby boomers were about to turn 50. "At that time, no one wanted to talk about growing older," Worthington says. "You know, it was that same '60's attitude - 'Don't trust anyone over 30; hell no we won't go.' Today as the boomers turn 60 and 65, it's a different story," Worthington explains. "

Falls due to environmental causes are the most preventable of all threats to older adults. And in that regard, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house.

Eighty percent of all falls occur in the bathroom. Slippery floors, hard surfaces, and unforgiving edges are just some of the hazards.

Getting up and down from the toilet and in and out of the shower are the top two activities most associated with falls.

Here's what you can do:
  • Install grab bars. Use grab bars by the toilet and shower that bolt into the wall, at a stud. A tension pole (extending from floor to ceiling) is a reasonable alternative. Avoid counting on towel bars or suction-based grab bars. They are not reliable.
  • Purchase a shower chair or bench. Use a shower chair in a walk-in shower to eliminate the need for standing. A shower bench bridges the side of a tub. It allows your loved one to sit on the bench at chair height, with feet outside the tub, and then pivot 90 degrees to put feet in the tub and then scoot over for washing.
  • Get a hand-held shower head. With this device your relative can stay seated on the chair or bench throughout bathing. Make sure it can be easily hung from something in the shower while your relative is soaping up. An on/off button on the handle is also a nice feature.
  • Add nonskid rugs and mats. Remedy slippery surfaces in the shower or tub with a nonskid mat or decals. In the bathroom, use only rubber-bottomed rugs. A towel on the floor to sop up water is a slip-and-fall waiting to happen.
  • Raise the height of the toilet. In addition to a grab bar, install a taller toilet or add a raised seat. A 1.5 inch -3 inch boost can make getting up a lot easier!
Article courtesy of Mary Faith Gardiner-Ferretto, President/Aging Life Care TM Manager at Ferretto Eldercare Consulting, Inc. 

Elder Self-Neglect - A Harmful, Hidden Hazard
Imagine entering the house of an elderly loved one and being greeted by a foul-smelling odor that appears to have no identifiable source. Unmarked boxes and teetering piles of paper are stacked in alternating piles as high as the ceiling. Your loved one, dressed in stained nightclothes, half-smiles in a sheepish manner and you see that bits of food are lodged in their teeth.
This scene is very shocking to you considering that the last time you visited your loved one-just a few months ago-both their house and their physical appearance were nearly immaculate.
Self-neglect is a common problem among elderly people that is both disturbing and, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Rush University, potentially life-threatening.

The study
In a study of almost 10,000 elderly people, it was discovered that elder self-neglect was responsible for a five-fold increase in premature death for elders.
This heightened mortality risk was most prominent in the year following the diagnosis of self-neglect.

An unrecognized problem
Elder self-neglect is a more prevalent dilemma than most people recognize. In fact, most research points to self-neglect being the most common form of elder abuse.
Self-neglect comes in a variety of flavors. Some elders stop taking their medications, others cease cleaning their home, still others stop bathing and grooming. The Rush University study found that elders who have a social network that is either lacking or nonexistent is more prone to falling into a pattern of self-neglect.
There are many other things that can cause an elder to stop taking care of themselves including, dementia, depression, disease, poverty, and isolation.

What this means for caregivers
Even if they don't yet require outside care, be sure to keep an eye on your elderly loved ones.
If they begin to show signs of self-neglect like dirty clothes, a cluttered house, or a constantly disheveled appearance, intervention may be necessary. If you decide to intervene, make sure that you plan your actions according to the demeanor of the elder and the extent of the self-neglect.
There are often local agencies that you can contact to help assist an elder who is not taking care of themselves. Adult Protective Services are duty-bound to investigate every claim of abuse and neglect that is reported to them. They have experience in dealing with self-neglecting elders and have a number of resources available to them to help an elder in need.

 Article courtesy of AgingCare.com
Start a Family Tradition 

Are you busy on Saturday, October 28? Looking for something your whole family can do? Why not start a family tradition? 

There's still time to join the Visiting Angels of Pikesville Team and  participate in the annual Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's® ! You will help  those affected by Alzheimer's disease when you raise awareness and funds for essential support services and research.

Haven't joined our Team? Can't walk with us but still want to help? Here's the link to sign up or contribute!

Memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. Learn more about the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's disease and find our how to recognize the signs in yourself and others.