Category Archives: Safety

Can Technology Predict Falls in Older Adults?

Man has fallen on a public sidewalk.

Fascinating new research sheds light on the precursors to potentially deadly spills. Photo credit: Adobe Stock

By Randy Rieland for Next Avenue

The prospect of aging can conjure up a multitude of horrors — a mind stolen by dementia, a body debilitated by illness, a soul crushed by social isolation. For most, fear of falling would be well down the list.

But falls are, in fact, one of the more common and consequential risks faced by older adults. The statistics, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, are both eye-opening and alarming.

One out of four Americans 65 or older falls at least once every year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult in the U.S. is treated in an emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, one dies from a fall. By 2020, the financial cost related to falls by older adults in the U.S. is expected to top $67 billion per year. read more

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Parents Are Safe In Bad Weather

Photo of flooded neighborhood

You can’t control Mother Nature, but certain precautions are important. [Photo credit: Thinkstock]

By Jasmine Dyoco for Next Avenue

Lately, it seems our headlines have been filled with stories about Mother Nature wreaking havoc on our surroundings. From horrible flooding to fast-spreading wildfires to monster hurricanes, weather and the damage it causes is putting human lives in danger.

And while I certainly always want to keep my family safe, the person I worry about most when bad weather rolls in is my aging father. After all, getting to safety can be especially difficult for older adults. read more

3 Aging Decisions to Make Before Someone Does for You

Senior woman at the steering wheel of a car

Even if we need to give things up, we can still decide when and how. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Debbie Reslock for Next Avenue

Sometimes, growing older feels like one loss after another. No longer being able to drive or stay in our own home is difficult to accept. If we feel we are forced into those decisions, it can be harder still.

Yet when we put off making the decisions ourselves, others are pressed to step in. On the other hand, when we understand what we’re afraid of, we’re able to discover options that can alleviate the fear and take responsibility for the decisions that are truly ours to make. Here are three aging decisions to make before someone makes them for you: read more

What to do when being the caregiver is not an option

Not everyone has the resources and stamina to take on the role, and it’s OK

By Phyllis Quinlan for Next Avenue

Caregiving-1-web

Credit: Thinkstock

There are 66 million unpaid adult family caregivers in America — 29 percent of the adult U.S. population — providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. Female caregivers outnumber their male counterparts two to one. In 2012, female family caregivers, on average, were 48 years old, lived alone,and provided about 25 hours of care per week.

As anyone who has done it knows, caregiving is rarely a sprint. It is most often a marathon of planning, adjusting, attending and doing. Not everyone is capable of staying in the race. read more

5 ways to make sure your parents are safe in bad weather

You can’t control Mother Nature, but certain precautions are important

By Jasmine Dyoco for Next Avenue

BadWeather-web

Lately, it seems our headlines have been filled with stories about Mother Nature wreaking havoc on our surroundings. From horrible flooding to fast-spreading wildfires to monster hurricanes, weather and the damage it causes is putting human lives in danger. And as we gear up for a strong El Nino that is expected to bring heavy rains to California and big storms to the East, it doesn’t look like the winter months will bring much relief to many parts of the nation.

And while I certainly always want to keep my family safe, the person I worry about most when bad weather rolls in is my aging father. After all, getting to safety can be especially difficult for older adults. read more

When Should You Step In to Help Your Parents?

StepInHelp

They may brush off your offers, so suss out their true needs

By Eileen Beal, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, for Next Avenue

A parent may ask for the occasional favor, but most won’t ask for help around the house or with their daily activities, even when they need it, says Alberta Chokshi, a social worker and director of quality improvement for Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging.

Chokshi, who has been working with families for 40 years, says that instead of seeking help, it’s typical for elderly parents to adapt and adjust their activities and routines. read more

Safety comes first

Photo of a tornado.

We are in the middle of summer storm season in Kansas and Missouri, and the tornado outbreak in late April is a very real reminder that we need to be prepared for bad weather. Missouri and northeast Kansas communities have already experienced rain and hail this spring.

At Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, we take resident safety seriously, and one way we work to ensure our residents are safe is by developing storm preparedness and storm response plans and practicing for emergency situations. read more

Take care in the sun

Summer means warm weather and sunshine. As enjoyable as that may be, sunshine means increased risk of skin damage due to overexposure, as well as other safety issues.

Protect yourself from heat and harmful rays this summer with this common-sense advice:

  • Check your medications. Antibiotics and other medications can increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Talk to your doctor about how best to take care of yourself.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear loose, light clothing covering your body as much as possible, along with a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck.
  • Wear shades. Sunglasses help protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays, too.
  • Use sunscreen liberally. Apply sunscreen before going outside to allow time for it to protect your skin. Sunscreen should be a minimum of 15 SPF. People with fair skin should use a higher SPF number. Your best line of defense is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Check the label to make sure it is broad-spectrum. Reapply every two hours, or more often if you go swimming or sweat a lot. Those at higher risk of skin cancer should wear a high SPF number every day they go outdoors year-round.
  • Drink lots of water. Avoid overheating by staying hydrated during hot weather. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.
  • Seek shade. Tans aren’t healthy; they’re your body’s reaction against sun damage. You won’t think it’s so cool when wrinkles show up prematurely.
  • Avoid mid-day sun. When possible, limit your exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Never leave them in the car. Even if you’re just making a quick stop, never leave children, the elderly or pets alone in a car. Even with the windows cracked, vehicles quickly reach dangerous temperatures.
  • Eat light. The Centers for Disease Control recommend healthy foods that require no or minimal cooking. Using the oven will require your AC to work harder, too. Visit your local Farmer’s Market and feast on fresh produce. Some foods can hydrate you while nourishing you, such as cooked asparagus, raw bell peppers, broccoli, raw cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, raw celery, cucumbers, grapefruit, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon.
  • Cover windows. Keep blinds closed in the daytime, especially when direct sunlight is hitting the windows.
  • Take cool showers. Also, lay a cool, damp cloth on your forehead or the back of your neck, and replace as necessary.
  • read more

    Safe today, healthy tomorrow

    Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow. Older Americans Month 2014This year’s Older Americans Month’s theme, “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow,” focuses on safety and preventing injury, encouraging seniors to protect themselves to remain active and independent.

    Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America provides services, support and resources to older adults year round. Seeking to be a trusted resource for information important to seniors, PMMA communities host Just Ask sessions free for anyone in the surrounding area, and some hold ongoing classes free to the public. read more