Ambiguous Loss: Grieving a Loss That Isn’t Physical

aging_aloneWe all know the pain when a loved one passes away, but what about the ambiguous loss we feel when someone we love and provide care for suffers from dementia? Ambiguous loss refers to a loss that occurs without resolution or understanding. This type of loss often leaves a person searching for answers or closure, which in turn complicates and delays the grieving process, leading to unresolved grief.

There are two types of ambiguous loss, physical and psychological. With physical loss, the body of a loved one is no longer present. This type of loss can occur across generations in a family, such as victims of the holocaust or missing soldiers and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.  In the situation of psychological ambiguous loss, the body is physically present, but psychologically absent otherwise. This happens in examples such as dementia, stroke and other ways the brain, well-being and behavior of the individual is affected.

Ambiguous loss is unclear and has no resolution or closure. The loss is confusing and unpredictable. Dementia creates a feeling of ambiguous loss, causing much stress and burden on the family and caregiver.

Pauline Boss, Ph.D and researcher, suggests that ambiguous loss creates a complicated grief that goes on too long. The complication is the ambiguity and confusion of not knowing when the loss will be final. In the case of an individual with dementia, as the disease progresses to the next stage (forgetting names or dates, not able to drive anymore, etc.), the progression brings on more continuous loss. Boss refers to this as frozen grief.

With frozen grief there is no familiar ritual, only a deep on-going sadness and many unknowns. Loved ones and caregivers may feel they are in limbo with no resolution in sight. There is a feeling of hopelessness and being ‘stuck’ as well as an inability to get things done. Having to accept the loss and grieve someone who is still alive is very counter-intuitive, but it is important to grieve as you go. The losses will continue with each stage of progression of the dementia but it is important to recognize each loss as it happens and as you go along in the journey.

To learn more about this perspective of loss and grief that may resonate strongly with you and other dementia care partners, watch this informative webinar. In this webinar, Susy Favaro, LCSW, of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, describes what many dementia care partners feel when the person they know and love has significantly changed psychologically but still physically present.

At Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis, we understand the stress that family caregivers face and offer a wide-range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The loving and experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offers friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family.

Realizing the need to bring awareness of important topics that affect the seniors in our Minneapolis communities, such as prescription medication management, preventing senior hospitalizations, keeping seniors safe online, preventing wandering and the increased risk our seniors face when they continue to drive past a safe age, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis will continue to provide resources and tips to help keep you informed. Our senior loved ones are one of society’s greatest resources – let’s make sure they receive the best care possible. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a Home Instead CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

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Thanks to You, Be a Santa to a Senior 2017 Was a Huge Success!

seniorsWe are humbled to report that once again this holiday season, Minneapolis volunteers went above and beyond to make Christmas memorable for local seniors who may not have otherwise received gifts or companionship.

The Be a Santa to a Senior® 2017 program was a huge success this year and I cannot thank the many volunteers involved enough for all your support. Without the workshop full of elves taking care of putting up the trees, selecting tags and shopping for local seniors, storing the gifts, and helping to make the deliveries, this program would not exist. A heartfelt thank you goes out to each and every one of you! We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understand the holidays are a very busy time of year for all, but hopefully seeing the smiles on the faces of the seniors and knowing how much fun the volunteers had participating warms your heart as much as it does mine.

Delivering over 3,000 donated gifts, this truly was a memorable Christmas and I’d like to give a special shout out to the West Metro Fire Station who received and distributed over 250 gift bags. Overall, the donated gifts were delivered to 34 different locations!

To stay in touch and make sure that you’re informed about our Be a Santa to a Senior® program next year, like us on Facebook and you’ll see our timely updates. Check out some of the fun pictures on our Facebook page and take a moment to watch this video:

The Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign is all about helping seniors who are alone or in need. The Minneapolis office of the Home Instead Senior Care® network has partnered with local non-profits groups such as East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Meals on Wheels, several nursing homes and low income housing to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either during the holiday season. What began with just one nursing home has since grown into a movement. The official kickoff began with decorating Christmas trees with ornament tags inside the establishment of our participating partners. Thank you to the 2017 partners:

From there, generous donors selected an ornament tag from the trees with the name of a senior and some suggestions of what they would like. The donors delivered the item(s) back to the location in a gift bag and the Be a Santa to a Senior “elves” picked up the gifts and delivered them to seniors in nursing homes, low income senior housing, adult day centers and personally nominated individuals.

Home Instead Minneapolis is thrilled to partner each year with local fire stations. Relief associations, retired and off-duty firefighters from Hopkins, Golden Valley, Wayzata, Minneapolis, New Hope and St. Louis Park fire stations all assisted the program by picking up and storing the gifts.  When the gifts were all collected they also helped to deliver the gifts to several of the nursing homes, assisted living and senior apartment facilities in and around the Minneapolis 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.

Since its inception, the Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign has attracted over 60,000 volunteers throughout North America, and has donated more than 1.2 million gifts to over 700,000 seniors who are in need of assistance or companionship. We’re doing our part here in Minneapolis and surrounding communities – you can join the movement and help a senior in your Minnesota community too!

Surviving Awkward Conversations and Determining a Loved One’s Needs During the Holidays

senior giftsThe holidays may be the only time some family members are able to come together. Situations such as long-distance travel or celebrating with in-laws may prevent having the entire family together some years. For many, the holidays mark a time of joy, nostalgia and celebration, but others are feeling maxed out. And some may be in for an unpleasant surprise if they haven’t seen parents or grandparents for a while and realize they are aging faster than expected and need help. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the added stress that is placed on families when visiting during the holidays and offers ways to manage awkward conversations as well as tips to pin-point your aging loved one’s needs.

Knowing how crushing it can be to a young boy when Grandpa’s dementia has progressed to a point where he no longer remembers the little boy’s name or the dread of having a conversation with a sibling you resent for not doing their part in caring for a parent adds to the stress of the family gatherings. Home Instead Senior Care offers some guidance to having that awkward conversation or helping you respond to these challenging situations and more.

Consider these four common scenarios caregivers or their relatives might encounter during the holiday season:

You want to discuss with siblings your need for help in caring for Mom or Dad
While speaking up to ask for help is a good way to garner help from others, is the family dinner table really the right time to address a touchy subject? Read tips to help you navigate the conversation successfully.

You’ll be seeing a relative for the first time after they have received a serious medical diagnosis
With the dire diagnosis statistics for cancer, heart disease and other serious health conditions increasing with age, the likelihood of seeing a relative who was recently diagnosed goes up each year. Consider these tips for what to say.

You notice during a recent visit that your aging parents need more help than you thought
Typically, when you speak to mom and dad, they assure you everything is fine and they don’t need help, but when you arrive to stay over the holidays you discover that isn’t exactly the case. Concern creeps in when you realize the pile of mail is quite large and their home is beyond cluttered. Read ideas of how to handle this situation.

Preparing your children for Grandma or Grandpa’s different behavior due to Alzheimer’s disease
Young children may become frightened by the often-inappropriate behaviors or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Keeping the details and conversation age-appropriate will help, as well as staying calm and patient. Learn tips to help prepare your children.

Be prepared to manage any changes you notice in your aging loved one.

Keep your eyes open for some common issues that can threaten a senior’s independence, such as:

• Pain
• Memory
• Depression
• Social Engagement
• Safety
• Housekeeping
• Medication

Learn details about each of the above common issues as well as how to address the issues uncovered, by reading 7 Ways to Investigate Your Loved One’s Needs During a Holiday Visit. If you’re unsure how to discuss concerns with your loved one, refer to Home Instead Senior Care’s conversation starter guide.

At Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis, our passion for serving seniors and their families runs deep. We are invested in the communities we serve and believe every family in the area deserves individualized in-home senior care with a compassionate touch to help seniors live independently at home. It’s our mission.

Caring for seniors is a job that requires a special personality with just the right touch. Could that be you? As a Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver, you have the opportunity to meet wonderful seniors, build fulfilling relationships, and make a difference in the lives of your aging clients. Contact Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis to learn more about the home care job opportunities and becoming a Home Instead Minneapolis CAREGiver.

If you or a loved one could use some assistance with senior care, contact us for a free care consultation to learn how we can help. Call us today at 763-634-8247.

The Trees Are Up! Find One and Be a Santa to a Senior

seniorsHome Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to once again kick off the 2017 Be a Santa to a Senior® program! We have set up trees around the Minneapolis area to 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, Meals on Wheels, as well as over 25 low income senior communities and 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 10th 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:

Locate 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 9th.

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, New Hope 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.

Daughters in the Workplace, part II

DaughtersWorkplace2It seems our lives are busier than ever these days. Women are navigating a career while raising children and in many cases, also caring for aging parents. The term ‘sandwich’ generation is used when an age group is caring for their parents while caring for their own family simultaneously. This sandwich generation is fast emerging and seems to be wearing many hats.

Studies show two-thirds of all caregivers are female, and many feel they have to choose between their career and caring for their family. It’s a balancing act that often leaves employers and employees alike, frustrated. This should not be the case. To help working family caregivers feel empowered to talk to their employer about their needs and to help employers understand what their employees need as caregivers, Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Daughters in the Workplace℠. This program offers free resources to working family caregivers while also identifying caregiving support that may be available from their employers, as well as support for the smaller percentage of male family caregivers. This article expands on the Daughters in the Workplace℠ campaign, click here to read our first blog post.

Caregiver Friendly Business Practices

In a recent survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., the percentage of working family caregivers who reported being “very satisfied” with their employer’s work-family policies was less than 50% in any category surveyed. In fact, the highest rating of those surveyed was given to the flexible schedule question at 44%. Knowing these numbers are not acceptable as well as the challenges that working family caregivers face, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis wants you to know you are not alone. Home Instead Senior Care offers these Caregiver Friendly Business Practices to help guide employers in their support:

  • Empower employees to ask for what they need
  • Be flexible (and human) when needed
  • Have a back-up plan
  • Offer support
  • Respect caregiving needs

Identifying What Support You Need as a Working Family Caregiver

DaughtersWorkplace1Identifying your needs as a family caregiver is the first step in helping you manage your own health, your job, and maintaining a quality family life. Studies show having support in the following areas are important to working family caregivers:

  • Access to respite care
  • Time off from work
  • Flexibility

Read more on each of these support areas and more.

Once you’ve identified your needs, make sure your employer understands what you’re looking for and what options the company has to offer. It’s best to have an honest conversation with your employer and Home Instead Senior Care offers some examples to help get the discussion started.

Learn more about Home Instead’s public education campaign along with ideas and tips to help you stay physically, emotionally, and mentally fit by visiting www.caregiverstress.com, including a list of resources for the Daughters in the Workplace℠ program. Also, take a quiz to see what you know about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other benefits you may have access to when you are working and caring for an aging loved one.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress the working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The loving and experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

Fall Prevention

by Guest Blogger – Jon Burkhow, Director of Senior Community Services’ HOME program

senior safety mnDid you know according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) one-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year?  What can you do to help prevent a senior loved one from falling?  With the annual Fall Prevention Awareness day, just around the corner on September 22, 2017, now is the time to take some simple steps to reduce the risk of falls for our Minnesota older adults.

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program. Many local community centers in Hennepin County offer classes specially designed for seniors.  Also consider a Matter of Balance class in your community.  Find more details including locations near you:  http://mnhealthyaging.org/en/FallsPrevention/MatterBalance.aspx
  2. Talk with your health care provider. It is important to tell your doctor or family members if you have fallen recently.  Certain medications can increase fall risk and your health care practitioner can review these and give you an overall assessment for fall risk based on your situation.
  3. Check your vision and hearing annually. Your eyes and ears are key to navigating your environment.
  4. Get a free safety assessment from the HOME program. Learn how we can help make safety improvements to your home, such as installing grab bars, improved lighting, new smoke alarms, reducing tripping hazards inside and outside the home, and more.

It’s human nature to procrastinate but we urge you to consider being proactive and reduce your fall risk.  Perhaps, you know someone who has suffered from a fall.  The recovery can be difficult and severe.  Falls can cause serious physical and psychological injury and are common during the Minnesota winter months.  In addition to the action items above consider a quick check of your physical environment.  Here are a few things to look for:

  1. Assure that you have adequate lighting on all stairways and going in and out of your home.
  2. Make sure that you have sufficient hand railings or grab bars in these locations and use them! Try to avoid carrying heavy loads when using these transition areas as your balance and line of sight can be impaired.
  3. Remove all objects from stairways.
  4. Remove loose rugs or put a non-slip backing under them. Make sure all pathways are clear of clutter.  You shouldn’t have to walk around things to navigate in your home.
  5. Make sure that you have a good pair of indoor shoes that have non-skid soles.

Do what you can to mitigate your fall risk.  Make today the day to take action and stay safe!  If you would like more information on the HOME program, visit our website: www.seniorcommunity.org. Contact us by email at home@seniorcommunity.org or by phone (952) 746-4046.

Jon Burkhow is the Director for the HOME program. The Senior Community Services HOME (Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly) program provides affordable home maintenance and chore services delivered by trusted professionals and community volunteers. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help adults aged 60 and older continue to live independently in their own homes.

Home Instead Minneapolis is proud to partner with and exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their HOME program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the 2017 GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser.

Daughters in the Workplace

Between advances in medicine and living healthier lifestyles, many seniors are living longer and more productive lives, which is causing the ‘sandwich’ generation to emerge. The sandwich generation refers to the age group who are caring for their parents while caring for their own children simultaneously. Studies over the past few decades have shown increased support for women who are juggling their careers as they raise young children, but much less attention and dialogue focusing on the unique challenges that come with navigating a career while caring for aging adults.

DaughtersWorkplace2To help working family caregivers feel empowered to talk to their employer about their needs and to help employers understand what their employees need as caregivers, Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Daughters in the Workplace℠. This program offers free resources to working family caregivers while also identifying caregiving support that may be available.

In a recent survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., a majority of the North American working family caregivers responded stating that caregiving has put a strain on multiple aspects of their lives including, but not limited to:

  • Finances (60%)
  • Physical health (74%)
  • Mental health (81%)
  • Career (81%)
  • Ability to manage a healthy work/life balance (83%)

You value your job and don’t want to jeopardize your position, but may need flexibility and understanding at times. It’s important to work with your employer and be honest with your boss when caregiving becomes difficult and you’re struggling to keep up with your workload. Home Instead’s Daughters in the Workplace℠ campaign offers support and resources for all parties involved during these unique challenges.

Conversation Starters: How to Talk to Your Employer About Your Caregiver Support Needs

What’s the best way to discuss family caregiving without the fear of jeopardizing your job? Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis believes that suggesting ideas that work for both your employer and you are best. Also, continue to work with your employer to make sure any changes to your work schedule or job are, in fact, working for all involved. To help you get the conversation started, Home Instead Senior Care offers some examples:

  • “Do you know I am taking care of my dad? I would love to tell you a little about him and what I am doing to care for him. I am looking for ways to ensure I am always doing the best I can at work and at home.”
  • “I hope you know how much I value my job. That’s why I would like to make sure that my work is covered in the event of a family emergency. I would love to learn about any services our company has that could help me. And then, it would be great to work with you to put together a plan.”

Read more examples. 

DaughtersWorkplace1

Consider 5 Ways Eldercare Could Impact Your Business

As the employer, you may believe you can’t afford to offer a family-friendly business setting, but in reality, the latest research shows that perhaps you can’t afford not to address these situations. Learn ways eldercare might be impacting your bottom line:

  1. Increased Absenteeism
  2. Decreased Productivity
  3. Loss of Talent
  4. Interruption of Sevices or Work flow
  5. Declining Morale

Five Signs That Caregiving Could be Putting Your Employee at Risk:

Being aware of signs that may be putting your employee at risk is important. Family caregiving is stressful business, especially when a person is also managing a full-time job and caring for their own family. This will eventually take its toll on your employee, which in turn may affect work productivity and even risk losing an otherwise excellent worker. Watching for these signs and using available resources will help reduce this risk.

  • Stress and depression: In a survey of working family caregivers, 42 percent report caregiving making them depressed.
  • Vulnerability to illness: In a Gallup study released in 2011 of working family caregivers, findings showed caregivers are 50 percent more likely to experience daily physical pain than non-caregivers. Working caregivers also reported a 25 percent higher incident of high blood pressure.
  • Fatigue: Although you cannot control your employees’ sleeping habits, recognize that fatigue is a common challenge facing many family caregivers.
  • Inability to focus: Fatigue and stress together make it difficult to focus.
  • Guilt: The guilt of constantly feeling spread too thin and not being able to give 100% to anyone leaves working family caregivers frustrated.

Learn more about each of these signs along with ideas and tips to help your employees stay physically, emotionally and mentally healthy by visiting www.caregiverstress.com. Also, take a quiz to see what you know about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other benefits you may have access to when you are working and caring for an aging loved one.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress the working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

GIVE65: 2017 Crowd-Fundraiser

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 toward caring for seniors. GIVE65 is the first of its kind for Home Instead Senior Care with a goal 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. In its second year, GIVE65 2017 will take place from July 11 – 13, 2017. 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 11 – 13, 2017. By scheduling the donation 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 additional financial reward prizes.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help seniors continue to live independently in their own homes. Their network of reliable workers and volunteers provide indoor and outdoor chore services to residents age 60 and older in a wide service area of communities in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

A majority of the HOME program clients are low-income. Assisting residents with home and yard chores such as home repairs, safety checks, raking, snow shoveling, and yard projects, will allow the seniors to stay in their own home and community longer. The money raised through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser will help the Senior Community Services HOME program keep their services affordable, with a focus on staying safe in the winter months. Donated funds will be specifically used towards winter fall prevention and the incurred expenses during the Minnesota snow season.

Each year, one-third of Americans aged 65 or older fall. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. In 2000, the direct medical cost of fatal and non-fatal injuries totaled over $19 billion and $28.2 billion in 2010. This financial toll for older adult falls is only expected to increase as the population ages and is expected to reach as high as $54.9 billion by the year 2020. The HOME program will use the GIVE65 donated funds to help keep the driveways and sidewalks of over 300 seniors clear during the upcoming winter season. Ensuring fall prevention by removing the snow and ice will not only maintain safe access to and from the home, but will provide a great relief to the seniors in our Minnesota communities by providing the gift of security and independence this winter.

Jon Burkhow, HOME Program Director, says “Our snow removal program is a vital part of keeping older adults safe in their home and community. Please help us continue to prevent falls with your donation!” If you are interested in getting involved and being a GIVE65 donor or would like to learn more about Senior Community Services HOME program, you can find more details here: https://www.give65.org/SCSfallprevention

The Minneapolis area senior population needs our help and your donation to the Senior Community Services HOME program through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser 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, 2017, 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 and be eligible for matching. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the seniors in our local communities!

Get Mom (and Dad) Moving!

SeniorExerciseStudies show that staying physically and mentally active can be a challenge for seniors, but incorporating more movement into their daily routine can help prevent and even reverse the signs of frailty. According to a women’s study in 2009, researchers at Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities discovered the important role mental & physical activity plays in the fight against frailty in seniors. Keeping an older adult’s mind, body and social life active can prevent or even reverse frailty.

WebMD states that frailty is more than just “slowing down.” Growing older typically means the body will get tired faster and overall move slower than before. But for some older adults their body becomes very weak and everyday activities are hard to do, this may be a health issue called frailty. A senior loved one may be frail if:

  • The person is experiencing weight loss without trying
  • The person feels constantly tired or weak and has very low energy

The benefits of routine physical activity for seniors are well-documented. Improved strength, more steady balance and decrease in risk of falling, to name a few positive effects an older adult will experience with regular exercise.

InHomeSeniorExerciseRegular exercise can keep older adults healthier and reduce the risk of falling by strengthening their legs and improving balance. Staying physically active during summertime in Minnesota is easy. Commit to a day and time each week with a fellow senior friend or loved one and take a walk to a local cafe, walk laps at a local mall when the weather isn’t perfect or pick a favorite Minneapolis or St. Paul metro area lake to walk around – we have over 10,000 to choose from! Another way to stay active is through the community you live in. Many communities that Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis serves offer various classes which are geared toward seniors, such as water aerobics, yoga, meditation, dance and many others. On the days where getting out of the house is not realistic, here are 6 Easy, At-Home Exercises to Reduce Senior Fall Risk.

It’s just as important to keep a senior’s mind from becoming frail as the body. Fun and simple activities that provide a challenge will help a senior’s mind stay active. Working on a daily crossword puzzle, playing card games, or changing up the routine in the grocery store will keep the mind sharp. For example, next time you are grocery shopping with your senior loved one, suggest walking a different route through the store. Even simple activities such as brushing their teeth with the opposite hand will help the brain re-think daily tasks. Click here for more activities and resource tools to keep your senior loved ones sharp as a tack.

We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understand not all seniors have access to the same living environment and economic status and it may be harder for some to get out and be active. These social determinants of health can negatively affect an older adult’s participation in community wellness activities. Here are 5 Common Social Determinants That Can Impact Senior Exercise:

  • Unsafe neighborhood
  • Lack of financial resources
  • Poor literacy skills or primary language barriers
  • Lack of transportation
  • Cultural devaluation of exercise

Learn more about each of these common social determinants that may prevent your senior loved one from complying with an exercise plan and tips to overcome them.

According to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), 40 percent of people between the ages of 45 and 64 are considered sedentary. This is a troubling number, but for those over the age of 64, that number jumps to 60 percent. Seniors and family caregivers, as well as doctors and other health care professionals see the positive effects of staying active, both mentally and physically, as we age. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is committed to reversing these numbers and preventing frailty by helping the seniors in the Minneapolis metro area communities we serve become more active. Our in-home care services help people at any point within the aging process, is tailored to your unique situation, and adjust as your needs evolve.

We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provide dependable, compassionate care at all levels, including specialty care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Our dedicated CAREGivers will help restore peace, order and balance to your lives and help your loved ones remain at home. Contact us today to inquire about the senior services we offer by calling 763-634-8247.

Be a positive role model, be supportive and encourage your senior loved one to get moving!

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.