technology and seniors

Huffington Post Seniors

Huffington Post Seniors

Currently we are living in a digital age that is fast-paced and always evolving. As soon as someone masters one form of technology, another “newer” version of it is already on the market. How are people supposed to stay educated on these technologies? How are the senior citizens, especially, supposed to stay educated? Senior citizens are ones who did not grow up surrounded by any technology other than telephones with cords still attached and televisions with only three channels. However, there are proficient ways to teach senior citizens about these new technologies. In a recent column in Huffington Post Seniors, a columnist addresses this specific topic. Here is a link to the article that we recommend for our clients to read:  Helping Seniors Learn New Technology

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how to find and choose a new doctor

senior-check-up-6716161One struggle that many senior citizens and their parents or caregivers who look after them find, is picking a correct doctor. There are many extenuating factors that contribute to why someone may be looking for a new doctor. For the elderly who may have more medications or health issues, finding the right doctor is especially important. In a recent column in Huffington Post Senior, they address this very problem. As stated in the article, one key tool in the 21st century, is the Internet and search engines such as Bing and Google. This resource makes finding and researching doctors easier. The links provided by these searches are websites with access to databases of U.S. doctors and other resources listed in the article. Take a look at the following article and also look in these databases for doctors or resources that are beneficial for those living in the Midlands of South Carolina.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/how-to-find-and-choose-a_b_7436258.html

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Home Improvement Assistance Programs for Seniors

The summer calls for more than just relaxing days in the sun, it may also call for some home repair. As the winter months have gone by, ware and tare on homes may have occurred. A few damages such as rotting wood on handicap ramps, leaky pipes, or peeling walls could be effects of the cooler temperatures in the previous months. However, many senior citizens may not be able to do the repair themselves or afford to hire their own help. There are financial assistance programs or other resources that can help seniors with home improvement projects and needs. Check out this article from Huffington Post Senior:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/home-improvement-assistan_b_7306038.html

homeimprovementgraphic

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Home Improvement Assistance Programs for Seniors

The summer seasons calls for more than just days of relaxation, but also days of work. Warmer weather may also mean dealing with the damage from the previous winter months. There are many homes that experience ware that must be repaired, such as handicap ramps, pipes, walls, air conditioners, etc. However, many senior citizens cannot do the repairs themselves or afford to hire someone to do the work. There are financial assistance programs and other resources that can help seniors with home improvement projects. Check out the following article from Huffington Post Senior, that list a few of these resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/home-improvement-assistan_b_7306038.html

homeimprovementgraphic

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Home Improvement Projects and Senior Citizens

The summer calls for more than just relaxing days in the sun, it may also call for some home repair. As the winter months have gone by, ware and tare on homes may have occurred. A few damages such as rotting wood on handicap ramps, leaky pipes, or peeling walls could be effects of the cooler temperatures in the previous months. However, many senior citizens may not be able to do the repair themselves or afford to hire their own help. There are financial assistance programs or other resources that can help seniors with home improvement projects and needs. Check out this article from Huffington Post Senior:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/home-improvement-assistan_b_7306038.html

homeimprovementgraphic

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Benefits of Older American In the Workforce

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image source: (incedogroup.com)

Recently in an article in Huffington Post Small Business, columnist Linda P. Fried discusses the topic of the benefits of the older Americans in the workforce, especially to small businesses and the manufacturing industry. We take a look at how this topic relates to our seniors and small businesses/the manufacturing industry here in South Carolina.

There are a number of factors that keep the Baby Boomers and older Americans in the workforce for longer periods of time than seen in previous decades. Recently, the Columbia Aging Center at Mailman School of Publish Health at Columbia University in NYC published a series of guides, Age Smart Industry Guide, that stresses the importance “to our nation’s well-being and the public’s health that older Americans have the opportunity to stay engaged, playing active roles-at work or in their communities-for as long as possible,” as Fried states in her article.

These Baby Boomers have a benefit to the small businesses or manufacturing industry by having the capability to train the upcoming generation of workers. These older Americans have been working in their trades long enough to become masters of their skills, which they can then pass on to new employees. This relationship between the Baby Boomers and millennials that are currently in or will be entering the workforce in the coming years, creates a unique intergenerational relationship. As the older Americans are sharing their skills, the younger generation is also able to share their skills of understanding this digital age with technology and social media, with the older Americans. Together they form a relationship where all employees are learning new skills and furthering the business or industries where they work.

In December of 2014, Joseph Von Nessen and Doug Woodward, economists at the Moore School’s Division of Research at the University of South Carolina released their 2015 forecast of South Carolina’s steady economic growth to continue, as the ” job creation – the single best indicator of overall economic performance – is expected to grow at 1.9 percent in 2015, mirroring the 2 percent job growth rate seen in 2014, according to Woodward and Von Nessen” stated an article released by USC.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce in a press release on April 21st, 2015 stated that March 2015 marked the 64th consecutive month of employment growth in South Carolina. Also, that the first quarter of 2015 saw an all time high in the number of people entering the labor force with the industries of Construction, Education and Health, and Government in March of 2015.

As these new jobs continue to get created and younger people are entering the workforce, older Americans will play a crucial role in the economic success in both South Carolina and nationwide. These employees offer years of experience to the younger employees, and they also will benefit from the lessons of understanding the digital age, that the newer employees can teach them. This intergenerational relationship will help everyone benefit overall, and keep older Americans active in the workforce that they are staying in longer.

This article was written with the help of the following articles:  http://www.sc.edu/uofsc/newsreleases/2014/12_economic_outlook_for_2015.php#.VUz0dWx0zIU; http://dew.sc.gov/ ;   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-p-fried/rethinking-the-role-of-ol_b_7100610.html )

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Allergies 101

As the weather begins to transition into the warmer spring weather (thanks goodness!), there are also negative factors that come with the sunshine. There is also another yellow pest: pollen. This can stir up allergies in people, and other seasonal allergies that someone may suffer from. Senior citizens are also included in this category. In a series of blog posts, we are highlighting the issue of allergies, the types of allergies there are, the way to test for allergies, solutions for sufferers and more. The health of our seniors is a top priority, no matter the season.

Allergies 101

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the US. There are as many as 50 million Americans that suffer from allergies each year. This also includes millions of our senior citizens.

What exactly is an “allergy”? The CDC defines allergies as “an overreaction of the immune system to substances that generally do not affect other individuals.” The people who do suffer from allergies may experience symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or itching. Most allergy systems are not life-threatening; however, they can lead to or affect other more serious illnesses such as asthma.

Allergies are not preventable, but allergic reactions or the severity of the symptoms can be. When a person is properly diagnosed about which type of allergies they suffer from, they can work to prevent getting in contact with these allergens. A senior citizen (or caretaker of the senior citizen), can consult with a doctor about strategies that can help minimize symptoms or take initiatives such as being immunized with allergy injection therapy.

How This Applies to Seniors

How do allergies affect senior citizens? How can suffering of symptoms be minimized for senior citizens? In an article published on “AgingCare.com”, editor-in-chief Anne-Marie Botek talks with Christopher Randolph, M.D. who is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s Asthma and Allergic Diseases in the Elderly Committee. He lays out a few guidelines of how caregivers can help make allergy season bearable for senior citizens they may be caring for:

1. Look for signs: There are tale-tale signs such as sneezing, runny nose, or itchy eyes that a caregiver should be on the lookout for.

2. Make sure their doctor knows: If the caregiver sees these signs in their elderly patient or loved one, consult the senior citizen’s regular doctor. Many senior citizens also suffer from one or more chronic health issues; which makes it more difficult to separate a potential allergy from other ongoing diseases.

3. Be aggressive: If you suspect your senior citizens is suffering from allergies, get them diagnosed and treated properly. This keeps larger issues or reactions from occurring later on. It also helps increases the quality of life for the senior citizen to enjoy day to day activities such as a walk through the local park.

The full article can be read here: (http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/help-elders-survive-allergy-season-150138.htm).

If you know the signs and ways to prevent suffering, allergies can be coped with. Next week we will discuss ways to properly test for allergies in senior citizens.

[This article was also written with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Gateway to Health Communication article.]

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Take Care of Your Kidneys

In a recent article in the Huffington Post Post 50 recurring column, Savvy Senior, a questioned was posed by a reader about kidney disease. Adults who are 60 or older are especially vulnerable to contract this disease; a disease whose symptoms can go virtually undetected. Here are some questions about what exactly kidney disease is, the different types, the symptoms, and what it may mean if you are diagnosed with it.

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What is kidney disease?

According to medical-dictionary.com, kidney disease is defined as any damage that reduces the functioning of the kidney. It can also be referred to as renal disease. There are currently 26 million Americans suffering from chronic kidney disease, and many millions at risk of developing it. Why? Well, there are several causes of kidney disease. However, the leading cause of kidney disease are the following: diabetes, high blood pressure, inherited diseases, and infection. The beginning symptoms can be mild such as a lack of urination or increased fluid build up in the body. These symptoms usually develop over a period of time (even several years) without being detected. If left untreated, this can develop into chronic kidney disease, which can be more serious. As a result, an individual can spend time hooked up to a dialysis machine or waiting on a kidney transplant. This is a widespread problem among Americans, and is affecting a higher number of people due to obesity, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure; all of which put a strain on the kidneys.

How can you help reduce your risk of kidney disease?

Get tested. The National Kidney Foundation has an online test you can take to start with (kidney.com). Then, go to your doctor because kidney disease can be detected from a simple blood and urine test. If you suffer from any of the above listed diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, or have a family history of kidney disease OR are 60 years or older), you need to get tested.

If you’re diagnosed with kidney disease?

  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Control your diabetes.
  • Change your diet.
  • Watch your meals.
  • Exercise (perhaps lose excessive weight).
  • Quit smoking if you have the habit.

If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, it may not be fatal. Especially in cases of acute kidney disease. There is a high survival rate for 5 years or so after a kidney transplant and 15,000 transplants are done each year. The greatest tool for prevention or treatment is early detection. Go to your doctor and have yourself or an elderly loved one tested.

(*This article was written with the help of http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/how-to-take-care-of-your_b_6562658.html; http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/kidney+infection*)

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Preparing for A Weather Emergency

As we brace cold, wet, and potentially dangerous winter weather, here are some safety tips for preparing ahead of time for these types of hazardous conditions. Our biggest concern is a fear of being unprepared. Will I run out of food? What do I do if my power goes out? How can I get in contact with my family if we are separated when an emergency breaks out, such as severe weather?

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The key here: be prepared. If you have a plan that you know you as a family or as an individual can implement when needed, it can ease the fear or even a later burden. RetireEASE Senior Services, has two top weather preparation tips you can follow to keep your elderly family member, neighbor, or yourself safe.

Pack An Emergency Kit

The first step to being prepared for a weather emergency is to have all proper supplies packed. Your first supplies you want to have handy is a first aid kit. If an injury was to occur because of severe weather or you have access to medical care temporality cut off, a first aid kit will be a first go-to. You can buy a prepackaged first aid kit or assemble one together yourself. Make sure you place this first aid kit in an accessible , safe location of your house.

Pack Canned Good or Non-Perishable Items that Would Last You a Few Days:

When the weather is good, make a list of non-perishable food items. Then take a trip to your local grocery store and buy these items in bulk that would last you a few days. Then, store these food items with your first aid kit. This way, your emergency items are all in one location. If you or your family or your elderly loved one should be stuck at home due to severe weather it can be vital to have accessible items until help can be reached.

Keeping these types of items in stock and having a tentative plan, can literally be a life saver later during a severe weather emergency.

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Ideas for retirees on fixed incomes or anyone on a budget

Taken from USA TODAY MONEY BY NANCI HELLMICH:

In the wake of the madness of Black Friday, many Americans are looking into the holiday season of Christmas thinking about what gifts to buy their family, friends, or loved ones. For many there is already a hint of worry or concern about crossing everyone off of the gift list. Do you get those socks for that distant third cousin twice removed?

This may be extra challenging for the millions of senior citizens who are retired and living on a fix income. There is also a challenge for many of these elderly Americans in having the health or means to get out and shop for these gifts. Added on to these impending problems may also be the added mentality of sentimental gifts. Most senior citizens want to buy gifts that have a personal touch for the individual who they are purchasing the present for. images

What is are some solutions or fixes for these issues? Columnist Nanci Hellmich wrote an article with a few tips for the retirees or simply any Americans on a budget that fall into this category.

  •  Cut down your holiday list. Look at the list of people you give presents to, and see if it’s time to take some of them off the list.

Author of the book “Decoding the New Consumer Mind” told Hellmich “It’s painful to do because if someone has made it to the list, obviously you care about them. But I think many people will be flat-out relieved to be off the list, because if you give them a gift then they think they have to give you one in return.”

It might be almost a sense of relief for both yourself or others if you can give gifts out want not just obligation.

  • Consider giving away family heirlooms or sentimental keepsakes. What are the family heirlooms that you may no longer use and are simply gathering dust in the attic or closet? Who is the daughter, son, or granddaughter that has been asking for that particular set of your mother’s silver, for years? You can use the Christmas season as an opportunity to pass down that silver set. Not only does it help you save money, but there is a deeper meaning than money or materialism behind the gift.
  • Give to charity instead of buying gifts. This Christmas season could also be an opportunity to start a new family tradition. You can begin teaching the younger family members about the meaning of giving rather than receiving. Instead of drawing names for gift giving, get every family member to choose the charity or organization of their choice to donate the amount of money you would spend on the gift to the chosen charity or organization.
  • Write down peals of wisdom. Brain Kelly, founder of Brain Brands in Chicago suggested to Helmich that American senior citizens could write down pithy quotes, witty insights or common phrases used by your family and giving those as a thoughtful gift.
  • Share your time and talent. What is your unique talent or special gift? Are you really good at sewing or crocheting or cooking? Then use this as an opportunity to share your gift as a gift with someone you have on that gift list.

Yes, the holiday season can be a stressful time. There are list that must be crossed off. Gifts must be bought. The Christmas dinner must be cooked. However, there are changes that you can make or adjustments in carrying out your holiday planning that can be both economically smart or spiritually uplifting.

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