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Author: host Created: 1/7/2009 3:03 PM
The AT Home Care blog is a forum for members of the AT Home Care team to share insight and experience related to the in home health care industry.

Family New Year’s Resolutions
By host on 12/28/2015 5:57 PM

Family New Year’s Resolutions

The holidays are a time of family traditions and celebrations. People connect and make memories, but as with every year, holidays come and go. Once Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed, many people look forward to the new year as a fresh beginning. For seniors, it can be more challenging to get excited about the new year.

Understanding the apprehension a senior feels about the new year is important for helping them develop a better perspective. Typically, New Year’s resolutions have something to do with self-improvement. For an aging senior, these types of vows may not be as attainable as they were years ago. Of course losing weight, eating better and exercising daily is important, but it’s not necessarily the best focus for a senior. A team effort may be just the ticket to jump start 2016.

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Aging in Place: Home Living Trends
By host on 12/28/2015 5:48 PM

Aging in Place: Home Living Trends

Aging in place is the optimal choice for seniors who want the highest quality of life as they age. While health and physical ability are key factors for aging in place, the decision is also largely based on the livability of the home. In order to successfully age in place, the environment must promote safety, comfort and independence.

In most cases, the homes where you’ve raised your family, and even some newer homes, aren’t senior-friendly. But, the decision to remodel or relocate isn’t always feasible or desirable. So the greatest challenge of aging in place is oftentimes how to adapt the existing environment to better support the needs of aging bodies and minds.

Related: Aging in place technology

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What is Long-Distance Caregiving?
By host on 11/12/2015 9:40 PM

Every day, people are faced with the task of caring for a sick, disabled or aging loved one. Statistics indicate 44 million adults in the U.S. provide care for someone over the age of 50. It’s a common misconception that caregiving can only happen when everyone resides within close proximity. Actually, a large percentage of family caregivers are also long-distance caregivers.

Long-distance caregiving is a unique and challenging situation where the caregiver lives long distance–typically an hour or more away–from the family member who needs their help and support. This occurs more than you might think, and takes a great deal of planning and organization. Research from AARP suggests that nearly 1/4 of people caring for elderly relatives do so from a distance.

Tips for Long-Distance Caregiving

Create a caregiving team. Th ...

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Eyesight and Hearing: How Sensory Processing is Affected by Age
By host on 11/12/2015 9:38 PM

The five senses—sight, sound, smell, taste and touch—tell us all about what’s happening in our surroundings. However, as we age, it’s common to notice changes in sensory processing. In order to process sensations and gain information from them, we need full capacity of our senses. Take for example the aromatic smell of food in the kitchen, the sound of the telephone ringing or feeling a wet floor or sharp utensil. These are all experienced through a person’s sensory processing skills.

It’s natural for the strength of the senses to deteriorate with age—generally this starts happening around the time a person reaches 50. As time goes on, family members, friends and caregivers may notice a loved one starts wearing bifocals, increasing light bulb wattage, adding extra seasoning to food or turning up the volume on the TV or radio. Although many of these symptoms are entirely normal ...

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Maintaining Bone Health
By host on 11/3/2015 12:35 PM

It’s a common misconception that bone loss and susceptibility to fractures are a natural part of aging.  Many people assume that when they reach a certain age, low bone mass and tissue loss are inevitable.  But, that isn’t necessarily the case.  There are a number of precautions you can take to slow or reverse bone and tissue loss, as well as prevent bone fractures. 

Here are the key factors that impact bone health…                             

Nutrition plays a huge role in bone health.  Th ...

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How to Help Seniors through the Holiday Season
By host on 11/3/2015 12:34 PM

Many people look forward to the holiday season.  It’s an opportunity to engage in traditions and spend quality time with family and friends.  However, for the elderly, the holidays can trigger memories of people and times passed.  This can bring feelings of uncertainty, sadness and isolation.  It’s very common for these factors to result in holiday depression, or the holiday blues. 

Research indicates that about two million seniors suffer from depression, and although studies don’t show a direct correlation in the holidays and depression, there’s no doubting that holidays present unique challenges. 

But, it’s not the holiday alone that causes the blues. It’s the time of year, because it serves as a reminder of both happier times ...

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Activities that Stimulate the Brain and Strengthen Memory
By host on 9/14/2015 8:31 PM

Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is the medical term for minor, early stage memory loss. The condition falls somewhere between typical age-related memory decline and Alzheimer's disease. Memory problems, difficulty finding words, organizing or planning as well as a lack of initiative or motivation are all symptoms associated with cognitive decline. While age-related MCI is natural to some degree, over time it can lead to Alzheimer's.

Fortunately, there are countless activities that stimulate learning and strengthen cognitive ability. Various leisurely pursuits are believed to reduce the risk of MCI, exercise the brain and help with memory and cognitive functioning. Here are some fun brain stimulating activities to give a try…

Puzzles like Sudoku and crosswords challenge both logic and memory.

< ...

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Signs and Types of Cognitive Impairment
By host on 9/14/2015 8:20 PM

Cognitive dysfunction is a broad term for a variety of issues occurring in the elderly. From mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia, there are several degrees and levels of cognitive dysfunction. Although at one point all were grouped into a single condition as part of the natural aging process, research shows each as unique with different causes, symptoms and treatments.

According to the CDC, cognitive decline is defined as trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect everyday life. Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe. As the condition develops, a person may notice changes in their cognitive function, but still have success accomplishing everyday activities and living independently. More severe types of impairment can impact a person’s ability to control bodily movements, understand the meaning or importance of something, as well as affect speech and writing abilities.

Here is an overvi ...

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How is Volunteering Beneficial for Seniors?
By host on 8/25/2015 7:19 AM

For many seniors retirement brings about mixed feelings—happiness for no longer being required to work, but restlessness about how to spend free time. Volunteering is an excellent way for seniors to occupy their spare time, while gaining a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Studies suggest that outreach activities influence a person’s social, emotional, and even physical well-being. Data also shows that one in five retired seniors believe that volunteering is the single most valuable thing that they do with their free time. The truth is that seniors have diverse skill sets and wisdom to offer as volunteers. They bring to the table a generation of life experience that is beneficial to others.

Every senior has their own reasons for volunteering their time, and the impacts of doing so are diverse from person to person. However, every senior gains some common benefits from volunteering. Here are some of advantages of volunteering…

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Why is Advance Care Planning Important?
By host on 8/25/2015 6:19 AM

Advance care planning is the process of making important decisions about the care a person would like to receive in the event he or she can not speak for themselves. Many people put this off because it is a distressing topic to think about in advance. Other people simply think they’re too young or too healthy to be creating an advance care plan. However, a person of any age, in good health, can be faced with a crisis that takes their ability to make their own healthcare choices.

These decisions are fundamental for seniors, especially those who have not solidified an advance care plan. If you’re unfamiliar with the elements of advance care planning, the process is about making both legal and personal decisions about your future. There are several factors to consider. Below are some tips for finalizing an advance care plan.

First and foremost, complete an advance directive. These decisions are the foundatio ...

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