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  • It's Healthy Aging Month. Here's How to Live Life to Its Fullest

    September is Healthy Aging® Month, which means it’s time to focus on the positive aspects of growing older. Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging magazine, created Healthy Aging Month to inspire adults to improve their physical, mental, social, and financial well-being—ideally by trying something new. And Worthington says everyone 45-plus needs to start thinking this way.

  • Showering is My New Water Sport

    I’ve always loved water sports -- swimming, kayaking, water skiing, scuba diving -- but the only water I’m sporting in these days is the shower.

    Since a bicycling accident that left me a paraplegic almost five years ago, I’ve been under doctor’s orders to stay away from the pool, the ocean, and the lake. A sleepy driver slammed into me head on, and the force of the impact thrust me off my bicycle and thrust my femur through my thigh. Today, I still have an open thigh wound, so no water for me.

  • Fingerprint Background Checks Are a Must for Caregivers

    If you’ve ever watched a crime drama, this scene is probably familiar. A beat cop hustles a criminal into the police station for booking. The intake officer records his name, takes a mug shot, tells him to empty his pockets—and then asks for his Social Security number. Right?

    Wrong. As every crime drama from Hill Street Blues to CSI has taught us, when someone is arrested for a crime, it’s the fingerprint that links them to it forever.  So why do some home care agencies rely only on Social Security numbers when screening caregivers? 

  • In-Home Care vs Assisted Living: Making the Best Choice for Your Senior

    More and more seniors prefer to age in place, and flexible in-home care options are readily available. Yet some families may still find providing in-home care overwhelming, and many seniors enjoy living with their peers in an assisted living community. With so many factors to consider, how do you determine whether in-home care or assisted living is best for your parent? Ultimately, the choice is a personal one. 

  • Downsizing Your Parents’ Home: Resources and Benefits

    If your parents are older baby boomers, it’s probably time to start talking about their future living arrangements. Though your parent may feel protective of his independence and resist downsizing to a smaller home, doing so may actually allow him to live independently longer. Plus, downsizing typically has financial benefits too.

  • 5 Simple Ways to Help Your Senior Trust a New Caregiver

    Some seniors, particularly those in the early stages of dementia, may have a hard time trusting anyone other than the family member they rely on most.  Yet being solely responsible for an elder’s care can quickly become a heavy burden for that family caregiver -- no matter how loving and committed he or she may be. Reliance on a single caregiver isn’t in the senior’s best interests either, since it can lead to isolation and in some cases, may even increase the risk of elder abuse.

  • Reuniting with the Trauma Surgeon Who Saved My Life -- Twice

    It has been more than 3 years since I’ve seen the trauma surgeon who saved my life -- not once, but twice. In the first few months following the bicycling accident that left me a paraplegic, she was the thread that held it all together. Not only did I rely on her, but I easily connected with her and held onto her every word during my 51 days in the Intensive Care Unit at Hackensack University Medical Center. She has that kind of hold on people.

  • 3 Practical Success Strategies for Family Caregivers

    Though providing care for an aging parent may start as a sprint, it often becomes a marathon. Perhaps an injury or illness sends you scrambling for emergency care, but you soon realize that your senior won’t recover fully. Instead, she’ll need ongoing and likely, increasing, care. Or maybe you get a bit more warning; you notice your parent’s declining health and put a care plan in place over several months.

  • Even in a Wheelchair, Everyone Wants to Know What Sport I Play

    From the moment I arrived at the rehab hospital to learn how to live with paralysis, people were asking me what sort of adaptive sport I’d get involved in. Though it seemed like a given to everyone else, for me it was anything but. I was in no frame of mind to think about shooting hoops or racing in a wheelchair while sprawled out on a hospital bed, a dazed and scrawny paraplegic who couldn’t sit up without help.

  • How to Help Your Senior Avoid Loneliness While Aging in Place

    Today many seniors prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible, but family and friends often have concerns for their safety and well-being. Some of these issues can be resolved quickly and easily, such as adding a new railing along the front walk or modifying the shower. Others, like avoiding loneliness, will require ongoing effort.

  • Why Educating Your Caregiver is a Win Win

    It’s common for your loved one’s needs to change over time. If you’re lucky, you have a trusted caregiver who really connects with your senior, understands his or her needs, and is responsive to your input and concerns. But even the best caregivers may need some guidance and direction when a new set of medical circumstances arises. Helping your caregiver understand changes in care, and giving them the tools to handle them, benefits the aging adult, the family, and the caregiver, too. 

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