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Medical Alarm Resources | LifeFone

National Telephone Day

Today, April 25th, is National Telephone Day. Yes, there is a day set aside to honor and celebrate the phone - can you believe it?

There are many reasons to love (and hate) the beloved telephone.  Here are a few things we love about phones. Continue reading

Understanding Elder Financial Abuse

Caring for our loved ones not only comes with caring for their physical needs, but, also their financial needs.  Being knowledgeable about what elder financial abuse looks like, will keep their finances protected as well.

Elder financial abuse spans a broad spectrum of conduct, including:

  • Taking money or property
  • Forging an older person's signature
  • Getting an older person to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence
  • Using the older person's property or possessions without permission
  • Promising lifelong care in exchange for money or property and not following through on the promise

Understelder financial abuseanding who is at risk and why can help you protect your loved ones. When your aging loved one feels isolated or lonely, they may be more inclined to talk to the ‘sales’ person on the phone, and give away important information to those that use telemarketing scams as their way of hacking into accounts.

When the elderly person loses their spouse, the amount of mail that comes can lead them to filling out un-necessary documents that comes from a scammer, and thereby opening themselves up to elder financial abuse.

If your aging loved one suffers at all from physical or mental disabilities, they are susceptible to being preyed upon by handymen, auto repair, or any service-related industry.  Even a senior in complete control of their physical and mental faculties can easily be taken advantage of in the same situations.

Unpaid bills, eviction notices, or notices to discontinue utilities, withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts that the older person cannot explain or bank statements and canceled checks no longer coming to the elder's home, all can be indicators of abuse.  Of course, the above examples can also have plausible explanations, so it’s important to look for patterns or clusters of indicators that suggest a problem.

At Lifefone, your loved ones’ physical safety is our primary concern. At LifeFone, we provide top-notch medical alert protection but we also want to make sure you are informed about other ways that their safety, and in this case, their financial safety is also of importance to us.

The Emotional Roller Coaster For Boomers With Aging Parents

Being a ‘boomer’ in today’s world can be hard enough, yet often that generation is also faced with caring for aging parents. The emotions that come along with that can make them feel like they are riding the ultimate roller coaster.

Fear is one of the strongest feelings adult children have.  The major question – what will happen to dad/mom if I don’t step in and take appropriate action, they may fall, and severely injure themselves.  Yet, on the flip side, if they press their aging parents to move into a senior, or assisted living facility, they, the parents, may resent the child for insisting or even suggesting such a thing.

Right behind fear is guilt.  Guilt for even suggesting that mom or dad give up drivingcaring for aging parents, or sell the family home, or move in with them, or, hire someone to come in and help with the daily chores.

In years past, the amount of services and help for aging parents was not that many in number. Now, there are more facilities and services available with more popping up, it seems, daily.  With the vast amount of resources, it can become very overwhelming and confusing for the adult children explaining things to their parents, not to mention understanding it all themselves.

Managing their own lives can be stressful enough.  Adding into the mix caring for aging parents at the same time can add to their stress level.  Without proper self-care, the caregiver can get sick.

It’s easy to understand why the adult child would feel sadness as they watch their parents’ health decline, or even watch them age.  The changes that come along with that, selling the family home, getting rid of ‘memories’, or even realizing that mom or dad won’t be with them much longer can bring on sadness and sometimes even grief.  This is often the time that families think about in-home services including a medical alert system.

In families where there are multiple siblings, the responsibility of taking care of the parents often falls onto one of the children.  It’s a hard job, and the caregiver may feel a sense of resentment towards the siblings who aren’t helping.

These emotions, which are normal, leads to a sense of frustration.  Frustrated with not getting clear answers, not knowing exactly the best way to help their parents, employers who just don’t understand the balance, or even having to deal with employees at facilities who may or may not quite understand everything.

The Boomer caregiver may experience all of these emotions as they search for the best options for their parents. The best approach to avoid many of them is to sit and really listen to your loved one, and understand what they want or need.  It’s equally as important to understand that, as the caregiver, these emotions are normal, and that there are ways to navigate the waters.

Six Spring Cleaning Tips For Seniors

At Lifefone, our goal is to make sure that your loved one stays safe every day.  Like most, they too, want to get spring cleaning done. We’ve compiled a short list of six spring cleaning tips for seniors.

Always pre-plan. Often, folks may begin a project without really counting the cost of getting it done.  Planning the spring cleaning will help in the long run, and avoid undo stress and chaos.

cleaning tips for seniorsHaving a list on-hand will helps to stay focused.  For instance, start with the kitchen, and plan how to get that done.  The refrigerator may take longer to do than the cabinets; a list will help prioritize those jobs. Encourage them to tackle the pile of papers on the desk also helps to keep them organized.

Monitor Your Smoke Alarm System, Fire Extinguisher and Emergency Kit. Since we have our parents, or neighbors in the swing of cleaning, now is a good time to make sure that their emergency items are fully charged, or stocked. If your loved one doesn’t have these items, now is the perfect time to add them to the home.

Clean up the clutter.  De-cluttering will keep everyone safer.  Small appliances that aren’t used daily can be stored away, eliminating additional electrical cords. Perhaps they are a lover of magazines and/or newspapers, and a result is they are now piled next to the chair or couch.  Cleaning up those piles can reduce the risk of trips and falls. Along with that, maintaining clear walkways in every part of their home or apartment should be a priority. You might want to consider a medical alert system with fall detection in the event a fall does occur.

Ladders and step-stools. As independent as we know our loved ones want to be, it’s very important to make sure that they can physically use a small ladder or step-stool.  If not, getting the help of a family member is the best option.

Their medicine cabinet. This is so important.  Making sure that all their medication is properly stored, and that anything that has been expired is thrown away not only reduces clutter, but, also cuts down on the risk of taking the wrong medication.

This list is certainly not exhaustive, but, we know it will help keep your loved ones home clean and inviting.

Meal Prep for Your Loved Ones

One of the most important things we can do for our aging loved ones is to make sure that they are keeping themselves properly nourished.  Often times it can be hard for them to get out to the grocery store, or to even consider what they may even feel like eating.  Because of that, taking the time to do some meal prepMeal Prep ahead for them may be an option that would work for your loved one.

Of course, that brings into the thought of safety in the kitchen for your aging loved one.  As more and more of our seniors are able to be independent, it’s important to allow them the space to do things on their own.  The kitchen can be a concern, however, because of the dangers that do lie there.  Removing hot items from the stove, out of the oven, etc. can be a concern because we don’t want them to be injured while cooking.

This is just one of the great reasons to have a Lifefone Medical Alert system for your loved one.  Should a fire or burn occur, your loved one can have emergency services at their door within minutes.   Having the system in place gives your loved one an extra level of confidence that they can be independent, and gives you, the caregiver, the assurance that they have this service on board.

It’s also a concern that you may have that your loved one will be eating the meals you prepare for them, in which case, Lifefone offers a daily call to them to make sure that they are eating.  Having a third party call removes the emotions from the check-in, and could be a great reminder to your loved one that you love them.

If you feel your loved one is not capable of re-heating the food you’ve prepared for them, a service like Meals on Wheels may of benefit to you.  There are also many other options along the lines of in-home care that you can hire that will send a regular person in to prepare meals, do light cleaning, and even play  games or read  to your aging loved one.

With the many different options available to you, and subsequently your loved one, their ability to stay independent can be a long adventure.

A Lighter side of Caregiving

When caring for a loved one with a long-term illness, we often get caught up in the daily routine of meals, clean up, laundry, and the cycle repeats day after day. When days run into one another, we get weary, and sometimes we can get short with those that we love. Continue reading

Tech Tools for Caregivers

Many mid-lifers are now caring for their aging parents. With the amount of technology at our fingertips, that job is getting more manageable. Continue reading

Talk About Cholesterol

With all this talk about cholesterol, one would think we would know what we are talking about. But if you stop the average person on the street and ask: “What is cholesterol?” … most people would fumble over their definition like a first time dancer attempting to do the tango. It may surprise you to know that cholesterol isn’t bad in and of itself unless it begins to form plaque between the layers of your arteries. Then there are issues. Continue reading

Can Dementia Be Prevented?

As we age, the fear of dementia or developing Alzheimer’s Disease is very real. Statistics show that “as many as five million Americans, age 65 and older, may have Alzheimer’s and it’s estimated that number will double for every five year interval beyond age 65.” Alzheimer’s is the most commonly thought of form of dementia, but there are other forms. Continue reading

Caregivers Guide To Diabetes

If you’re a caregiver, chances are you are taking care of aging or elderly loved ones, helping them monitor their medications and making note of any changes in their physical or mental health. One of the changes you need to be aware of is the potential for developing diabetes as this is a very real possibility as we age. Continue reading

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