Protect Seniors Online, Part II

protect-seniors-online-logo_horizontalIf you or a senior loved one still uses generic passwords for everything, such as Password123, please continue reading! When it comes to online scammers, they are smart, creative and won’t stop until they have successfully hacked into the personal information and accounts of their online victims. Internet users need to be constantly aware and stay one step ahead of these cunning criminals. According to recent research by Home Instead Senior Care, seniors don’t always feel confident in their abilities to protect themselves online. In fact, only 32% of seniors surveyed described themselves as “very confident” in their ability to safely engage in various online activities.

To help raise awareness and the confidence level of seniors, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis has launched their latest public education campaign, Protect Seniors Online. This campaign takes a look into the increased threat the seniors in our local Minneapolis, Minnesota communities face by focusing on the cyber threats that can put older adults in jeopardy. The Protect Seniors Online campaign offers valuable resources to educate seniors and their family. It also reinforces why it’s so important for a trusted Home Instead CAREGivers to assist your senior loved ones to ensure they are not vulnerable to harmful cyber scams.

protectseniorsonlineLearning how to interact and use different social media methods is a wonderful thing for seniors.  Learning new things activates the brain and is one way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. But being active in a variety of online websites also opens the door for potential hackers, spam and other cyber scams. To avoid being the target of an online cyber scam, it’s best to be aware of information you are putting out there. Read about Mike’s experience.

One step in staying  ahead of the hackers is to be aware of the latest cyber scams. According to experts at the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Better Business Bureau, following are the Top Five Hottest Senior Cyber Scams:

  • Tech support scams: These types of scams can manifest themselves as “pop-ups” that appear on your computer screen and look like legitimate offers for computer service or help.
  • Tax scams: The upcoming tax season is another window of opportunity for online fraudsters to take action on your personal information.
  • Ransomware: This is one of the most frightening forms of online fraud. It is a malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money has been paid.
  • False debt collectors: These emails oftentimes come as official-looking documents and the tone of the emails is threatening and urgent.
  • Sweepstakes scams: This type of scam will often want you to pay to receive your prize.

To learn more about the hottest senior cyber scams and take a quiz to test how good you are at spotting an online cyber scam, visit www.protectseniorsonline.com.

Michael Kaiser, executive director at the National Cyber Security Alliance says “cybersecurity is all about risk reduction.” “It’s difficult to achieve perfect security, but you can work to make yourself a more difficult target.” Practicing cyber safety can go a long way toward protecting your identity and personal information. Here are some tips from the 10 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Older Adults:

  • Think before you act
  • Create strong passwords
  • Share with care
  • Use security software

To learn more about each of these and get the  10 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Older Adults, visit www.protectseniorsonline.com. Also, click here to read the first article in the Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis Protect Seniors Online series.

The World Wide Web is a great thing! It is a tool used for learning, convenience, social connection, information storage and sharing. Don’t be fooled, stay vigilant and protect yourself online.

Serving the communities in Minneapolis and western suburbs, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is dedicated exclusively to helping seniors stay in their homes as they age. Our highly trained in-home CAREGivers provide all the supportive care a person needs to continue living at home. Everything from companionship to bathing, showering and using the bathroom, to Alzheimer’s and other dementias care are services Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides. Sometimes just having a person in the home to help monitor their online activity or answer questions is all they need to reduce the risk of a cyber scam. To inquire more about the services offered and how our CAREGivers can help keep seniors safe online, contact us at 763-634-8247.

Protect Seniors Online

protect-seniors-online-logo_horizontalWith social media on the rise and more older adults than ever surfing the World Wide Web, seniors face an increased risk of their personal and financial information being compromised. Staying connected through email or the various social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram can be a good thing for seniors as well as a great way to share photos with loved ones not living in Minnesota.  Another example is online banking.  Paying bills and managing your miscellaneous daily banking is very easy and convenient, but also opens the door for potential hackers, spam and other cyber scams.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis’ latest public education campaign, Protect Seniors Online, takes a look into the increased threat the seniors in our local Minneapolis, Minnesota communities face by focusing on the cyber threats that can put older adults in jeopardy. The Protect Seniors Online campaign offers valuable resources to educate seniors and their family as well as reinforce why it’s so important for our trusted Home Instead CAREGivers to assist your senior loved ones and ensure they are not vulnerable to cyber scams that may do harm.

protectseniorsonlineStudies show that most of the North American seniors surveyed by Home Instead, Inc. use social media. Nearly 12% of those who were surveyed report having had a negative experience including being asked for money and having to block someone. The potential dangers of oversharing while online could put you at risk. It’s important to be mindful of how much personal information is being posted and who can see it. Here are some things to remember:

The Dangers of Oversharing Online:

  • Be wary of what information is public. When creating a profile on any social media account, minimize the amount of detailed information you provide. Remember that specifics such as birthdays, a pet’s name and hobbies could end up in the wrong hands.
  • Information shared on one social media account can show up on another. For example, if you post a photo on Twitter, it may end up on Facebook if the two accounts are connected. Be sure privacy settings are set to protect you and you know exactly who is able to see your posts and personal information.
  • Be wary of quizzes, games and other apps that require personal information. Any bit of information could get into the wrong hands and lead to risk.

To learn more about the risks involved with sharing too much personal information and tips to prevent your senior loved one from becoming a scam target, visit the website www.protectseniorsonline.com.

Cyber attacks can happen to anyone. More than a third of seniors surveyed by Home Instead Inc. report that someone has tried to scam them online and 28% have admitted to downloading a computer virus. Older adults are particularly vulnerable for the following reasons:

  • Complexity of computers and mobile devices
  • Weak passwords
  • A trusting nature

Learn more details about each of the above reasons and other cyber scams here.

Practicing good online habits will decrease your chances of being targeted. Learn the 10 Best Cybersecurity Practices for Older Adults and take the Quiz: Can You Spot an Online Scam?

Serving the communities in Minneapolis and western suburbs, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is dedicated exclusively to helping seniors stay in their homes as they age. Our highly trained in-home CAREGivers provide all the supportive care a person needs to continue living at home. Everything from companionship to bathing, showering and using the bathroom, to Alzheimer’s and other dementias care are services Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides. Sometimes just having a person in the home to help monitor their online activity or answer questions is all they need to prevent disaster. To inquire more about the services we offer and how our CAREGivers can help keep our seniors safe online, contact us at 763-634-8247.

Prevent Wandering, Part II

prevent-wandering-logo“Not all those who wander are lost”. This line taken from a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien has become famous in itself and seems appropriate when thinking of our senior loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease and their family. Wandering is one of the potential symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia and is a very serious issue that should not be taken lightly. This is the second Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis article focusing on the prevention of wandering, click here to find the first article in this series as well as many other articles related to senior safety and health.

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that may take those who are diagnosed with it to a different time and place. Wandering is very common as people can become confused about their location and wander or get lost while searching for something, at any stage of Alzheimer’s, even the very early stages of dementia. Typically, those who wander are trying to get to a familiar destination with a specific purpose in mind. To the person who is wandering, they are not lost at all, but instead on a mission.

Watch this touching video about a man with a special mission in mind.

Continuing their effort to bring awareness of important topics that affect the seniors in our Minneapolis communities, such as the risk of our seniors continuing to drive past a safe age and the Sunday Dinner Pledge, Home Instead Senior Care has introduced their latest public education program, Prevent Wandering. This program is full of valuable resources and tips to help family caregivers manage this common issue.

To a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, once familiar territory can suddenly feel foreign and the individual may walk away in search of the place they are looking for. There are many factors, such as fatigue or overstimulation, that can trigger a wandering episode. Taking proactive steps to safeguard the home and reduce the risk of wandering will help families be prepared if a wandering incident occurs.

Quick Tips to Reduce the Risk of Wandering:

  • Paint doors and door frames the same color as the walls to camouflage the exits
  • Use alarms to alert you when a loved one is on the move
  • Install doorknob safety covers
  • Create pathways to steer clear of wandering opportunities

missing_senior_networkTo help ease the stress and fear for families and the loved ones they care for, Home Instead Senior Care provides a free service called Missing Senior Network, which allows you to alert a personalized list of contacts if your loved one wanders or goes missing. This amazing service is part of the Prevent Wandering public education campaign and allows you to set up a private network including relatives, friends, and nearby businesses to help locate your senior loved one quickly when he or she wanders away. To learn more and sign up for the Missing Senior Network service, visit the website www.missingseniornetwork.com today! There are many other tips and services available, learn more about each one by visiting the helpful website www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com where you can also find personal experience and tips from readers.

Learning of a loved one’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia is scary. Educating yourself and being prepared for the behaviors that can result will not only help the individual living with Alzheimer’s, but also help the family cope with the disease diagnosis and keep your senior loved ones safe in their home. There are many resources available for Alzheimer’s family caregivers. Learn more about these resources, such as the Home Instead Senior Care Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program, by visiting this resource page.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides services such as companionship, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, as well as support for the family caregivers, to ensure the protection of dignity of the aging senior receiving care. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is a local business offering friendly, responsive care right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

Wanted: A Caring Professional Looking for a Unique and Rewarding Career

Caring for seniors is a labor of love that requires a special person with a loving personality and just the right touch. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is looking for dedicated CAREGivers who share a passion for caregiving to provide in-home care assistance to seniors and their family. Could that special person be you?

Advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles are leading to many seniors living longer and more productive lives. This is causing the ‘sandwich’ generation to emerge, which in turn is demanding a greater need for caregivers. The sandwich generation refers to the age group who are caring for their parents and simultaneously caring for their own children. Many Minneapolis families are trying to find the balance of managing a demanding job, raising children, staying on top of their own family’s daily activities, as well as caring for their aging parents. It doesn’t take long before a family caregiver drops one of the many balls they are trying to juggle daily.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis Client Care Coordinator, Lori Leigh, explains why this growing field is so important right now and provides a glimpse of what is involved with being an in-home personal care assistant (PCA):

As the New York Times reports extensively, more than 1.3 million new paid caregivers will be needed by the year 2022 to meet the demand of the aging senior population. This demand for caregivers in the workforce is at a critical level, causing caregiving to become the largest occupation in the United States in the next 5 years. A recent report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune echoes the growing demand, stating that healthcare is a gold mine right now with an expected growth in Minnesota by more than 40% by 2022.

So, exactly what does it mean to be a caregiver? As a Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver, you can help these Minnesota families restore the balance, order, and peace in their lives once again while allowing their aging loved ones the ability to continue living independently at home. The responsibilities will vary depending on the client’s needs, but generally, you will be expected to:

  • Provide companionship and conversation
  • Prepare meals
  • Perform light housekeeping tasks, including laundry
  • Provide medication as needed
  • Assist with errands
  • Accompany senior to appointments

Other responsibilities may be asked of you, but most importantly and rewarding is the joy you bring to a senior’s life and the value you provide to the family.

Leah Beno with Minneapolis KMSP Fox 9 Evening News featured our own Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver, Rebecca, and her client Liz, highlighting their very special bond.

If you believe you are that special type of person who enjoys working with seniors and wants make a difference in the lives of older adults and their families, being a Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver might be the career for you. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offers industry leading CARE Training programs that will equip a new caregiver with the skills necessary to provide the best care possible to the senior client. Home Instead also offers training for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Home Instead Minneapolis serves the communities in Minneapolis and western suburbs, including Excelsior, Plymouth, Minnetonka, Golden Valley, Shorewood, Wayzata, St. Louis Park, and Lake Minnetonka area. Flexible work hours, a competitive salary package including health insurance benefits, as well as overtime pay and paid travel time between client appointments are just some of the benefits our employees enjoy. Our CAREGivers are bonded and insured and are provided with on-going training and support. We offer this and more through a holistic approach – caring for our CAREGiver’s mind, body, and spirit. We truly believe when we care for our CAREGivers, they are better equipped to have a meaningful relationship with their clients and the families they support.

Becoming a paid home caregiver is a unique job with many rewards, as well as responsibilities and challenges, both physical and emotional. As a Home Instead CAREGiver, you will have the opportunity to meet wonderful seniors in our Minneapolis communities, build fulfilling relationships, and make a difference in the lives of our aging clients. Contact Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis today to learn more about the home care career opportunities by visiting the Careers tab of our website where you can also apply online or contact us by calling 763-634-8247 today.

Prevent Wandering

prevent-wandering-logoDoes this scene sound familiar? Your 76-year old father leaves his Minnesota home one cold winter morning without telling anyone where he was going. After realizing he is missing and frantically searching, he is discovered by some concerned strangers who noticed he looked confused. Even though he’s been retired for 12 years, he thought he was on his way to work and was found approximately 10 miles from his home. We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis hear similar stories every day. Minor details may be different with each story, but overall the general theme is the same – the wandering senior has a purpose and intent when they start out, but get lost along the way.

Wandering is a very serious issue for those living with Alzheimer’s disease, or another form of dementia, and their loved ones. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that may take those who are diagnosed with it to a different time and place. Wandering is one of the potential symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. People can become confused about their location and wander or get lost while searching for something, at any stage of Alzheimer’s, even the very early stages of dementia. Many times those who wander are trying to get to a familiar destination with a specific purpose in mind, such as a former job.

Watch this touching video about a man on a mission.

In an effort to bring awareness of important topics that affect the seniors in our Minneapolis communities, such as prescription medication management and preventing senior hospitalizations, Home Instead Senior Care has introduced their latest public education program, Prevent Wandering. This program offers tips and valuable resources to help family caregivers manage this common issue for even the most prepared families.

The Alzheimer’s Association has identified five common triggers often found when individuals with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia tend to wander. Things such as fatigue or being disoriented are well known triggers, but there are other important factors to be aware of:

5 Common Triggers for Wandering:

  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Overstimulation
  • Fatigue, especially in the late afternoon and evening
  • Disorientation to place and time
  • Change in routine and unmet needs

Learn more about each one by visiting the helpful website www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six in 10 people with dementia will wander and many will do so repeatedly. Any individual living with some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is at risk of wandering. Having the disease itself is a top reason to watch for these signs.

6 Signs to Watch for When Caring for Someone with Dementia:

  • Trouble navigating familiar places – have you noticed Dad has trouble getting to and from places he has frequented for years?
  • Frequent talk about fulfilling non-existent obligations – does Mom tend to repeatedly talk about an appointment that doesn’t exist?
  • Agitation in the late afternoon or early evening hours – commonly referred to as “sundowning”, the individual becomes restless and agitated as fatigue sets in during the early evening hours.
  • A constant desire to go home when they’re already there – reassure your loved one he or she is safe and secure.
  • Unmet needs – needing to use the bathroom, but not able to remember where it is.

missing_senior_networkFor someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia as well as those who care for them, wandering can be a very scary issue. Also, research conducted by Home Instead Senior Care, reveals the stress that symptoms of dementia, such as wandering, can play on family caregivers. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress that goes along with caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. To help ease the stress and fear for families, Home Instead provides a free service called Missing Senior Network which allows you to alert a personalized list of contacts if your loved one wanders or is missing. This amazing service, which is part of the Prevent Wandering public education campaign, allows you to set up a private network, including relatives, friends, and nearby businesses to help locate your family member quickly when he or she wanders away. Learn more and sign up for the Missing Senior Network service today!

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides services such as companionship, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and support for the family caregivers to ensure the protection of dignity of the aging senior receiving care. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is a local business offering friendly, responsive care right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today!

Angels on Earth: 2016 Be a Santa to a Senior

bastas2015-1Although our Minnesota weather may not admit it, it’s time to kick off the 2016 Be a Santa to a Senior® program! Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to announce we will set up trees around the Minneapolis area and ensure seniors who are alone or in need receive a gift this holiday season. As once described by a senior who has received a gift from us, the Be a Santa to a Senior® program “shows there are angels on earth!” Join us in our movement once again this year to ensure seniors feel the love and be a part of our campaign.

This program targets seniors in our community who may not otherwise receive gifts or visits from family during the holidays and was first launched by our parent organization in 2003. Partnering with local non-profit and community organizations, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis identifies seniors who perhaps live alone, do not have family members nearby, or are experiencing financial difficulties and ensures they receive a little TLC during the holidays.

Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults. The Minneapolis, Minnesota Home Instead office has partnered with local non-profits such as East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Meals on Wheels, low income housing, and several nursing homes to offer gifts and companionship to seniors in need.

You can help us brighten a senior’s life too! Home Instead Minneapolis will set up the gift trees beginning November 14th in the local businesses and retail stores that are partnering with us. The participation of the busy retail stores allows for great visibility of the program and provides a convenient way for shoppers to be part of the gift giving during the holiday season. Here’s how it works:

Head to any of the following locations:

senior_giftsLocate the Christmas tree decorated with ornament tags within the store. Select any ornament tag where you will find a senior’s name as well as gift suggestions printed on the tag. The next steps are to purchase the item(s) listed, place them in a gift bag, return to the store where the ornament tag was selected and deliver the gift to a store employee. We would also be delighted to take any donations of money or gift cards to ensure each gift wish is filled. To ensure timely delivery of all gifts, please return donations to the store by December 12th.

Since this amazing program began in 2003, there have been over 60,000 volunteers who have helped distribute over 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 deserving seniors nationwide. Join our movement and make a senior’s holiday special.

Home Instead Minneapolis is thrilled to partner with several local fire stations. Relief associations, retired and off-duty firefighters from Hopkins, Golden Valley, Wayzata, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park fire stations are volunteering their time by picking up and storing the gifts. Once the gifts are all collected, they will also help deliver the gifts to the nursing homes, assisted living and senior apartment facilities in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. THANK YOU once again to the firefighters, retired members as well as spouses and family members for being involved with our Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign! We could not pull this off without you! We appreciate your partnership and your volunteer time.

At this time of year, there are so many gift programs aimed at children and families in need, but we can’t forget the seniors! Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands there are many seniors in our local communities who have just as much need for a gift and companionship during the holidays, so join us and make a difference in the life of a senior!

For more information or to find a participating organization near you, visit the Be a Santa to a Senior® website and use the locator tool provided.

Let’s Talk About Driving, Part II

LetsTalkAboutDrivingLogoCaregivers say it’s one of the thorniest conversations they will have. A family scenario that is becoming more and more common is when the adult children feel it is time for their aging parents to give up the car keys, but Mom and Dad have no intention of doing so. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis’ latest public education program, Let’s Talk About Driving, takes a deeper look into the increased risk of our seniors when they continue to drive past a safe age, especially during Minnesota’s harsh winters. It also offers helpful resources and tips to help their caregivers manage this sensitive subject.

According to research conducted by AAA, fatal crash rates increase beginning at age 75, per mile driven, and increase sharply after age 80. This is largely due to the increased risk of injury and medical complications with seniors, not an increased tendency to get into crashes. AAA also reports that in 2014, approximately 5,709 senior drivers were killed and 221,000 were injured in traffic accidents. These facts and others show alarming trends when our senior loved ones are on the road past an age where their ability to drive safely is compromised. Most older adults recognize their driving limitations and avoid situations that may put them or others at risk, but not all are willing to give up the keys so easily and that is where family members and caregivers need to step in.

To understand what it means to give up driving, it’s important to also understand what the privilege of driving means to a person. The ability to drive offers independence, control, pride and freedom for many seniors, but when their keys are taken away they will feel frustrated, depressed, defensive and helpless. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offers resources to help with this difficult transition, such as:

  • Be prepared with new options – there are several senior ride program options, stores and pharmacies that deliver, or find a carpool schedule
  • Make it fun – public transportation can be a whole new adventure when the city bus or an Uber ride are a senior’s new way of getting about town
  • Think outside the box – encourage new activities that don’t require transportation like gardening or walking

thumbnail-4-misconceptionsHome Instead Senior Care Minneapolis first offered advice on the sensitive subject of our senior’s continued ability to drive safely in last month’s blog article by discussing some warning signs that may help you know that seniors may be unsafe on the road.  Situations such as confusing the gas and brake pedals, difficulty staying within the lanes, and driving the wrong speed are just a few things to look for. Learn information on these and other important warning signs by visiting www.caregiverstress.com. While some seniors might not like the idea of giving up their driving privilege, others may consider it a relief and will welcome the idea.

4 Misconceptions About Giving up the Car

  1. Driving yourself is cheaper than paying for alternative transportation.
  2. Driving is more reliable; alternatives are less convenient.
  3. “I can’t give up the wheel. I’ve been driving my whole life!”
  4. “I won’t be able to go anywhere or see anyone!”

Read more about how to handle these typical senior responses.

The dedicated CAREGivers to our senior loved ones are often asked for assistance from the family members to help them navigate the often difficult conversation about this important issue. Home Instead’s CAREGivers can help by offering an objective voice when family members may disagree about a senior loved one’s driving future.

4 Ways to Help Families Navigate Senior Driving Concerns

  • Encourage families to learn the facts first and then decide the best course of action
  • Recommend the CarFit program
  • Discuss conversation starters and strategies for a talk with an older adult
  • Encourage families to put a plan in place before taking away the car keys

Using the above mentioned Let’s Talk About Driving program resources Home Instead Senior Care offers, as well as the Safe Driving Planner families and caregivers can help the seniors make this a smooth transition.

Five Vehicle Technologies for Keeping Seniors Safer on the Road

  1. Smart Headlights
  2. Emergency Response Systems
  3. Blind Spot Warning Systems
  4. Assistive Parking Systems
  5. Drowsy Driver Alerts:

Read more about these assistive technologies recommended by Hartford Funds and MIT AgeLab.

Proud to help bring awareness of important topics that affect the seniors in our Minneapolis, Minnesota communities, Home Instead Senior Care has launched many other informative public education programs such as:

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides services such as transportation and supports the caregivers to ensure the protection of dignity of the aging senior receiving care. Unlike some senior transportation services that just offer door-to-door service, our professional CAREGivers make sure they get all the way inside, provide any assistance required at the destination and return them home safely. Companionship, dementia and Alzheimer’s care and other services are also available. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is a local business offering friendly, responsive care right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community.

To inquire about senior services, call us at 763-544-5988. Also, visit www.letstalkaboutdriving.com for more helpful information and let’s begin talking!

Let’s Talk About Driving

LetsTalkAboutDrivingLogoHave you had the “dreaded talk” with your parents yet? I’m not referring to the birds and bees discussion we all had to endure as teenagers. The tables have turned – adult children are now caring for aging parents and the vital conversations are a little different, but still just as crucial.

To continue to bring awareness of important topics that affect the seniors in our Minneapolis communities, such as prescription medication management, Home Instead Senior Care has introduced their latest public education program, Let’s Talk About Driving. This program will help family caregivers begin the often difficult conversation about this important issue and offers a number of resources to the family and their senior loved ones.

Recent research conducted by Home Instead, Inc. revealed that 31% of surveyed seniors 70 years of age and older who are still driving said that a recommendation from family or friends would make them reconsider driving, but 95% of these older adults have not been given this recommendation.

Having a conversation with your senior loved one is a good first step and needs to happen. Watch this video with Amy Huddleston, Home Instead Senior Care where she provides tips on how to address the very sensitive topic of seniors and driving.

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 5.18.33 PM

For many seniors, driving provides freedom, control, independence and even a sense of pride so giving up the keys can be a very difficult thing to do. When asked to discontinue driving, seniors may feel frustration, helplessness, depression and will often times become defensive or even refuse to cooperate.

Just having the conversation with your elderly loved ones can be very difficult and many people harbor feelings of guilt when they have to take away a senior’s ability to drive. When the driving skills have deteriorated to a point where it is dangerous to allow dad to continue driving we need to put our emotions aside, raise the topic, and have those conversations no matter how difficult it may be. The safety and well-being of your loved one and others driving our Minnesota roads are at stake.

It’s important to know the facts before making the necessary recommendations about continued driving. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help know when it may be time for the senior to stop driving:

  • Is their vision or hearing compromised by age or health to a point where their safety is affected?
  • Are poor judgements being made when driving or the gas and brake pedals being mixed up?
  • Are you finding dents or other damage on the senior’s vehicle that cannot be reasonably explained?
  • Is their reaction and response time delayed?
  • Can they physically sit in the car to drive safely?
  • Does the elderly driver ride the brakes when driving?
  • Would your senior loved one pass a driving test?

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis recommends using the Safe Driving Planner. It can be difficult to know if your senior loved ones are still safe when on the road or pose a danger to themselves and others. Watch the short videos, then click on “Learn More” for additional resources for each different situation.

When the time comes to begin making the transition, be patient and understanding but firm with your conversation. It is not wise to demand the keys immediately and remove all driving privileges at once, instead try these ideas such as:

  • Begin by taking away driving at night or when the roads are busiest.
  • Include the senior driver in the conversation and decision making while continuing to remain strong and ultimately the final decision maker.
  • Listen to their concerns about getting behind the wheel and treat with respect and dignity.
  • Remind your senior loved one “It’s not you, it’s the disease”

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides services such as transportation and supports the caregivers to ensure the protection of dignity of the aging seniors receiving care. Companionship, dementia and Alzheimer’s care and other services are also available. Home Instead Senior Care is a local business offering friendly, responsive care right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community. To inquire about senior services, call us
at 763-544-5988.

For many, conversations with our teenagers about safe driving and getting them on the road happen every day. But sadly, having that delicate conversation to help keep our senior loved ones safe by getting them off the road is not happening. Visit www.letstalkaboutdriving.com for more helpful information and let’s begin talking!

Let’s Talk About Rx, part II

Imagine your senior loved one trying to juggle the daily dosing schedule for their many medications. Several pills must be taken at various times ranging from twice to four times a day, some must be taken with food and others on an empty stomach, add in an occasional multi-vitamin or inhaler and this is a lot to manage! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 100,000 North American older adults end up in the hospital each year due to an adverse drug mishap. Furthermore, 1 in 10 seniors surveyed by Home Instead, Inc. reported making mistakes, although unintentionally, when taking their medications and of those making a mistake, 11% have experienced a medical issue or emergency as a result. These numbers are alarming and should not be ignored. Preventing unnecessary trips to the hospital will not only save a lot of money, but more importantly, will help to keep our Minnesota seniors safe.

In an effort to provide families with the resources needed to help identify potential pitfalls facing seniors and their medications, the Home Instead Senior Care network has introduced the public education program Let’s Talk about Rx. This program will help family caregivers begin the often difficult conversation about this important issue and offers a number of resources to the family and their senior loved ones. Medication management can be a touchy subject to broach because it is personal and something your senior loved one has taken care of daily on their own for a long time. This just got easier with access to helpful tips and resources, such as:

Senior Emergency Kit
Conversation starters
Simple Meds by Home Instead

Understanding the sensitivity of approaching medication management and the challenges families face, the Home Instead created the Let’s Talk about Rx program with many resources and easy to follow medication guides and trackers. One such resource is the Senior Emergency Kit. This Home Instead kit ensures that family caregivers have access to important information about their loved ones in the event of an emergency call. The Senior Emergency Kit includes various worksheets and checklists, medical insurance tips and resources, as well as helpful links to additional resources.

Conversation starters such as “I’d like to help ensure you’re safe at home. Do you know why you’re taking this medication and what it’s supposed to do for you?” and other examples can be found on the website www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com. This helpful and easy to navigate website is brought to you by the Home Instead Senior Care network, and serves as an online resource, tools, and solutions center for families and caregivers of seniors. Here you will find informative articles, such as How Family Caregivers Can Help and 10 Signs Medications Could be to Blame for a Senior’s Health Issues. These articles and others found on the website mention using a medication tracker worksheet, using a pill organization system, and introduces Simple Meds by Home Instead. Simple Meds is a simple and convenient way to take medication correctly. Medications are sorted and conveniently organized into single serving packets by a Simple Meds pharmacist, as well as labeled with the date and time they should be taken. Even using something basic like a weekly pill organizer that has 4 compartments labeled with the dosage time of day would be helpful to keep several prescriptions and dosage amounts, times straight. Our friends at Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment have several items that may be helpful, such as a pill splitter or pill organizers. You can stop in at any of their eight Minneapolis/St. Paul metro locations to find these and other products to help keep your senior loved one safe and healthy in their Minnesota home.

This is the second article in a series focusing on the Let’s Talk about Rx program and helping to prevent medication mishaps with aging adults. To learn more about this public education program and access even more resources including helpful conversation starters, take a moment to read our first article in the series. Our senior loved ones are one of society’s greatest resources – together, let’s make sure they receive the best care you can give. Visit www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com today and start the conversation.

Join the Crowd: Give65

GIVE65LogoJoin the crowd! The Home Instead Senior Care Foundation has created the GIVE65 crowd fundraiser exclusively devoted to help non-profit organizations raise money geared towards caring for seniors. GIVE65 is the first of its kind for Home Instead Senior Care and was created to raise money online for programs and services related directly to helping seniors and creating hope for them. Home Instead is expecting it will be a catalyst for social change and we will continue to see fundraisers like this for seniors in the future.

The GIVE65 event is a 65-hour online charitable fundraising event aimed at inspiring greater giving to non-profit organizations serving seniors. It will take place from July 12-14, 2016. During this time a limited number of approved, participating organizations compete for up to $100,000 in matching grants and are also eligible for one of two $10,000 financial rewards which recognize outstanding small, medium and large-size non-profit participants. Wondering how you can join the crowd and help make a difference for seniors? Beginning July 1st, you can schedule your 100% tax deductible donation to be given to an approved non-profit of your choice during the fundraising event July 12 – 14. By scheduling it in advance, you ensure the organization of your choice will receive your donation during the event time period and it also may be eligible for matching grants and financial reward prizes.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to exclusively support the Park Nicollet Foundation, who applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of donated funds during the GIVE65 crowd fundraiser. The Park Nicollet Foundation is located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota and for over 40 years has partnered with schools, nonprofits, community organizations and the local government branches to solve complex issues in the community including health concerns of seniors. The Park Nicollet Foundation is the philanthropic branch of Park Nicollet Health Services which supports hospitals and clinics and a variety of community programs in Minnesota. By donating to Park Nicollet Foundation you are helping them continue to live by their mission of improving the health and wellbeing of their patients, families and communities, right here in Minnesota.

Park Nicollet Foundation has decided to use the donated funds to implement a Senior Safety Post-Hospital Discharge Visit Program. Understanding that the time after being discharged from the hospital can be a very challenging transition for seniors, Park Nicollet Foundation is partnering with local fire departments to provide patients with a visit that gives the extra care and support they need. Area fire departments have committed to provide a visit to patients within 12-24 hours after being discharged from a hospital stay. During this visit, local firefighters ensure the elderly patients:

  • Understand how to take their medication
  • Have a follow-up visit with a medical professional scheduled and have transportation to the appointment
  • Know who to call if they are in need and understand any symptoms to be aware of
  • Have enough food to take their medicine
  • Have hazard-free homes and will replace all non-working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

The funds donated to Park Nicollet Foundation through the GIVE65 crowd fundraiser will be used to provide specialized training to the fire departments involved, obtain the technology needed for the program to be successful and the development of infrastructure and protocol for digital information exchange. The program fundraising goal is $26,000. Home Instead Senior Care Foundation is offering a $5,000 match and the opportunity for an additional $10,000 if Park Nicollet Foundation either raises the most money or has the most donors. If you are interested in getting involved and being a GIVE65 donor or would like to learn more about Park Nicollet Foundation, you can find more details here: https://www.give65.org/parknicollet

The benefits of a program such as this are great for all involved. The seniors will see decreased readmission hospital rates and a better understanding of their care and transition plan. The firefighters involved have an opportunity to build relationships with their community members, improve the safety of our local aging population and reduce the costly emergency calls to their department. Park Nicollet Foundation and Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis are proud to partner with fire departments from the St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Minneapolis communities to roll out the Senior Safety Post-Hospital Discharge Visit Program

The Minneapolis area senior population needs our help and your donation to Park Nicollet Foundation through the GIVE65 crowd fundraising program will help. Lori Hogan, Home Instead Senior Care Foundation Vice President says “The need is great. I think GIVE65 is a rallying cry for all of us – the public and private sectors – to come together and create hope for our seniors in need.” Home Instead Senior Care understands the challenges faced when raising money for social service programs that focus on seniors in need and believe they can lead the charge in charitable giving and inspire others to work together towards a common goal.

Programs like GIVE65 are important to our local communities as the senior population grows, non-profits need financial support to maintain the programs and services they provide that give hope for seniors. Every gift will make a difference – from the minimum donation of $10 to the larger donations. Those who want to help our local seniors, including businesses, corporations and other foundations, can visit GIVE65.org to invest in the growing Minnesota senior population. And don’t forget to save the date! Beginning July 1, 2016, you can schedule your GIVE65 event donation to ensure your donation will be given to the non-profit of your choice during the fundraising time period. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the seniors in our local communities!