How California is Addressing Alzheimer’s

As a country, we face significant challenges from Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, the neuro-degenerative disease affects between 4 million and 7 million people in the United States, and doctors expect to diagnose more than 14 million people by 2050.

In California, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death. The effect on people’s lives is enormous, and it comes with a hefty financial bill as well: It’s estimated $100 billion is being spent annually to treat Alzheimer’s patients.

Fortunately, California has a four-part plan in place to address the growing Alzheimer’s crisis. It includes:

Eliminating stigma

The first step in California’s plan is to spread awareness and acceptance of Alzheimer’s disease. This involves public education and developing public information and educational materials.

Ensuring Access to High-Quality, Coordinated Care

California wants to make sure Alzheimer’s who want and can stay in their homes can do so. With coordinated care plans, more patients will have this options.

Establishing a Comprehensive Approach to Support Family Caregivers

The state’s initiative will focus on unpaid family caregivers. California is working to develop more professional guidance, training, and resources.

Developing an Alzheimer’s-proficient Workforce

Truly addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis requires training medical staff in basic dementia sensitivity. California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers will lead the way in training healthcare workers.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s doesn’t always mean moving into a nursing home. With technology like EasyCall, seniors can keep their independence and stay in their homes. EasyCall ensures help is never further than the push of a button.

Four Signs You’re Ready for a Medical Alert System

Are you considering a medical alert system like EasyCall for a loved one? If you have an older family member or loved one who’s still active and independent but might need help in case of an emergency, then EasyCall might be right for you. Here are four signs you’re ready for EasyCall.

You’re Worried About Their Safety

If you find yourself worrying about the safety of your loved ones, you can get peace of mind with a medical alert system, like EasyCall. With our fall detection technology, help is automatically summoned when an accident occurs.

They’ve Recently Had a Medical Issue

Many doctors will recommend their patients get a medical alert system after a medical procedure. From surgery to routine procedures, it can take a long time to recover to full health. In the meantime, EasyCall is there as your 24/7 helper.

They’re on Medication

Dizziness is a common side effect of several medications. Dizziness can lead to falls, and falls are a leading cause of mortality among seniors. If your loved one is taking a medication that causes dizziness, nausea or impairs their motor skills, having EasyCall by their side can give you and them peace of mind.

You’re Too Far to Help

These days, many of us live far away from our elderly family members. If you can’t be there to help, Easycall can. EasyCall lets you create a customized response plan. If you’d rather a nearby friend or neighbor get the first call in the case of an emergency we can do that. We can also immediately dispatch police, fire, or an ambulance. It’s up to you.

Getting help fast is critical in an emergency. With EasyCall, you can be sure help is always there at the push of a button.

Stay Secure with These Crime Prevention Tips

October is National Crime Prevention Month. We all have a part to play in preventing common crimes and Advanced Security Systems is your partner is keeping your home and family safe. Review this checklist for the most effective ways to prevent crime.

  1. Make a list of all valuable property. Keep at least one copy kept outside your home.
  2. Create a list of the serial numbers of your valuable property (watches, cameras, computers, TVs, etc.).
  3. Gather descriptions/photographs of valuable property from each room in your home (and closets).
  4. Consider renting a safe deposit box for important papers.
  5. Avoid ‘hiding’ an extra house key under the doormat or other common location.
  6. Have a plan if you or your family discover a burglar in your home. Don’t go in! Dial 911!
  7. If you do discover a burglary, leave everything undisturbed and call the sheriff or police.
  8. Trim trees and shrubs to eliminate hiding places.
  9. If you have space, build a security closet with a solid-core door, non-removable hinges, and a deadbolt lock.
  10. Keep emergency numbers stored on your phone, including police, fire, and ambulance and 911.
  11. Make sure the outside of your home is well lit.
  12. Is your house number easily visible from the street at any hour? Police need to see your number in an emergency.
  13. Lock up ladders and eliminate or block trellises and drainpipes that can be used as ladders to reach the upper floor.
  14. Ensure your exterior doors have cylinder-type deadbolt locks that are in working condition.
  15. Make sure all your doors (basement, porch, sliding, French, balcony) can be securely locked.
  16. Lock your car and take out the keys even when it is parked in the garage.
  17. Equip all windows in your home equipped with key locks, or pins.
  18. If you’re going on vacation, ask a neighbor to pick up the newspaper, mail, and help keep an “occupied” look to your home.
  19. Invest in a home security system that includes motion detectors and door/window sensors.

A Look at Elderly Insomnia

Sleep is vitally important. Sleep underscores our health and vitality, and without it we’re left exhausted and worn down. Seniors can be more affected by insomnia than other groups, so it’s important to know how to get a good night sleep and what can be done about elderly insomnia.

It’s a common myth that seniors need less sleep as they age. In reality, we still need 7 to 9 hours every day. What does change is the timing of our sleep cycles. Older adults tend to get tired earlier in the day and wake up earlier as a result.

What Causes Insomnia

The National Institute of Health has reported that almost half of all people over age 60 experience some insomnia. Here are some of the main causes of sleeplessness:

  • Medication side effects
  • Chronic pain from arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Sleep-related breathing disorders, like snoring and sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome, which causes unpleasant sensations of itching and crawling

Working with your doctor is the best way to address elderly insomnia. Your doctor will review your sleep habits and may ask you to keep a sleep diary to track your sleep and wake times. Your doctor may also order a sleep study where you stay overnight in a clinic while medical staff measure your vital signs.

Insomnia Treatments

Your doctor will work with you to develop a healthy sleep plan, which may include adjusting your medication to help solve your sleep issues.

Some effective insomnia treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness meditation, and exercise. There are also some supplements, like chamomile and melatonin, which can be effective in treating insomnia, although their long-term effects aren’t known. Finally, your doctor may prescribe a medication to address your sleeplessness, like Ramelteon or Trazodone.

It’s important for seniors to avoid relying on over-the-counter sleep aids. Studies have found these medications can impact brain function and increase risk of cognitive decline.

So far we’ve covered the main causes and treatments of insomnia in adults. As always, consult with your doctor to find out what’s causing you to lose sleep and experience restless nights.

Did you know that sleeplessness can lead to impaired cognitive function and is a known cause of falls? If you or a loved one is experiencing elder insomnia turn to EasyCall. EasyCall can provide the peace of mind that help is nearby in the event of an emergency. Learn more today.

Falls Prevention Awareness Day Reminds Us Safety is Everyone’s Job

Saturday, Sept. 22 is National Fall Prevention Awareness Day. National, state, and local partners collaborate to educate others about the impact of falls, share fall prevention strategies, and advocate for the expansion of evidence-based community fall prevention programs.

Falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental death in adults over the age of 65. Clutter and other tripping hazards, poor balance, and distractions can all cause a person to stumble and fall.

Some people become so afraid of falling (or after an actual fall) that they stop doing activities they used to enjoy. The following tips were shared by occupational therapy practitioners to help older adults reduce their risk of falls.

To reduce your risk of falling you can:

  • Remove clutter in your home, and walk carefully when there are potential hazards, such as throw rugs and pets underfoot.
  • Never stand on chairs or similar items to get to something you can’t reach. Ask for help, or use a sturdy stool with a handrail or a ladder.
  • Do not use towel bars, sink edges, etc. for support because they could come away from the wall.
  • Use a nightlight in the bedroom and bathroom.
  • Immediately wipe spills off the floor, and use a rubber-backed bathmat to prevent the bathroom floor from getting wet. Even a small amount of water can lead to a slip.
  • Stay active to maintain overall strength, endurance, and balance.
  • Know your limitations. If there is a task you cannot easily complete, do not risk a fall by trying to do it.

Unfortunately, falls do happen despite our best efforts. In the event of an emergency, you can know help is always near with EasyCall.

One push of the EasyCall button and you’ll be speaking with a trained dispatcher who will send medical services and alert your family. It’s that easy.

Learn more about EasyCall today.
Learn more about the National Fall Prevention Awareness Day.

What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself needing help with everyday tasks, like dressing and bathing?

If you or a loved one has experienced a significant change in health, you could be facing the prospect of long-term care and along with it significant costs.

Long-term care insurance offers a way to afford often costly in-home care services. But there are still many questions about this form of insurance. This guide will help you understand important aspects of long-term care insurance and help you decide whether it’s right for you.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance

On-going care costs can add up quickly. Long-term care insurance offsets the costs of in-home care from nurses, home health aids or therapists.

Long-Term Care Insurance Can Be Expensive

In 2016, Pennsylvania insurers tried to hit their customers with 130 percent spikes in their long-term care insurance premiums. The state responded by capping the amount a provider could raise its premiums to 20 percent. Regardless, the rate hikes were a major hit to seniors’ budgets.

When to Buy a Policy?

The American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance says most people start planning between ages 52 and 64. As with most forms of medical-related insurance, starting earlier could mean lower premiums.

Consider Other Options

Some insurance companies offer short-term care insurance, which is often limited to one year. These plans can be able to older seniors who otherwise might not be eligible for long-term coverage.

Some life insurance providers are also offering long-term care options that pay out a percentage of their death benefit over a period of time.

Health savings accounts can offset the costs of long-term care by letting people set aside money for medical-related expenses on a tax-free basis. These accounts are sometimes called health IRAs.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your financial advisor and family about what plan works best for you. Long-term care insurance can be a good option, but for those wary of costs, looking for other ways to pay for care might be a better choice.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your independence and have the peace of mind of knowing help is always near, get EasyCall, your personal medical response system.

With EasyCall you can create a custom response plan. With one push of the button, our highly trained dispatchers will assist you in getting the help you need right away.

EasyCall Celebrates National Assisted Living Week

Monday, Sept. 10 kicks off National Assisted Living Week. We salute our friends and neighbors who provide outstanding care to seniors! EasyCall is a proud partner in the effort to keep seniors healthy and active.

In McKinleyville, Timber Ridge celebrates the week with a bio-degradable balloon release. Positive messages will fill each balloon. And Humboldt County Supervisor Ryan Sundberg presides over the festivities.

Redwood News has more on the story at their website.

The goal of National Assisted Living Week is to help seniors live life to its fullest. EasyCall can help maintain your independence and keep you living the life you want.

Learn more about EasyCall today.

Three Ways to Balance Work and Care Giving

If you’re balancing a job and caring for a loved one, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed on some days.

First off, know you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 60 percent of caregivers over 50 are also working a fulltime job and that number is expected to rise in the next five years.

With all that’s required of managing the care of an elderly loved one—from juggling doctor’s appointments, to preparing meals—you need a plan that helps you provide care and stay sane at work.

Here are three ways to balance a job and caring for a loved one.

Research Your Options at Work

Many employers offer family leave and will make special arrangements for caregivers like flexible work hours or telecommuting. Reviewing your employee handbook and talking with your Human Resources representative is a great place to start. Also, let your boss know about your caregiver role before an emergency arises so they’re not caught off guard. Cross-training with another employee can ensure someone can cover your duties if you’re taken away from work.

Keep Work Life Separate

As much as possible, try to handle your caregiver responsibilities outside of work hours. Schedule doctor appointments for lunch and plan to tackle other duties after work. Being able to segment your time will help you shift between responsibilities without feeling like you’re being overwhelmed.

Get Familiar with the Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, allows you to take up to 12 weeks off per year, every year, for the care of a family member. This is unpaid leave, but your job security remains intact. Rules vary from state to state. In California, the FMLA and the California Family Rights Act only apply to companies with more than 50 employees and those employees must be on the payroll for at least 20 weeks in the current or preceding calendar years. All public employees are covered under the CFRA regardless of employee count. The California Chamber of Commerce website has more information about the CFRA.

Take control of your loved one’s care with EasyCall, your local medical alert provider. With EasyCall, help is always available at the touch of a button.

Curry County Residents: What to Do After a Break-In

Being the victim of a robbery is something you’ll hopefully never have to live through. However, if it does happen, you need to know the steps to recover from the break-in both financially and emotionally.

Here are six things to do in Oregon’s Curry County after your home or business has been broken into.

 

Call the Police and File a Report

If you’re in the home when someone one is trying to break in, call 911 immediately. Do the same, if you arrive home and suspect someone is in your house. You definitely don’t want to confront a burglar on your own.

However, if you’re certain the burglar has fled, now’s the time to call the police or sheriff. In Albion, call the Curry County Sheriff Department at (800) 543-8471.

Resist the urge to start cleaning up police have arrived and told you it’s ok to do so.  Otherwise, you might disturb key evidence that police need to investigate the break-in.

 

Call Your Insurance Company

Now that you’ve informed the proper authorities be sure to contact your homeowners or renters insurance company within 24 hours of the incident. The company will likely send an insurance adjuster to inspect the break-in and make an estimate to cover damages. Be aware, you may be asked to provide receipts or other proof of ownership for any expensive items that were stolen, like TVs, jewelry, or other goods.

 

Begin to Clean Up and Put Pieces Back Together

Once the police have finished with their investigation and you’ve contacted your insurance companies, it’s time to start to clean up. Reach out to contractors to replace windows or fix busted doors or any other damage. It can be helpful to have carpets cleaned or rooms painted, this can help remove the sometimes painful memories of a break in.

 

Reach out for Help

A break in can be an emotionally draining experience. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and families during this time and don’t be surprised if it takes a while to feel comfortable in your home. As with any traumatic experience, you will feel better with time and the support of those around you.

 

Review the Security of Your Home

After you’ve mentally recovered from your break in, it’s time to think about home security and how you can prevent another incident from occurring. The best ways to improve the security of your home include getting a security system installed, adding motion sensing lights to the exterior or your home, and working with your neighbors to report any suspicious activity. Apps like NextDoor (https://nextdoor.com/) can make that easy. After all, most burglars will stalk a neighborhood before attempting a break-in, looking for vulnerable houses that will be easy to get into.

Advanced Security Systems has security solutions for homes of all types and sizes in Curry County, Ore. Contact us today for a free, no obligation security consultation at 707-464-1975.

Learn more at http://advancedsecurity.us

California Is Serious About Preventing Falls

California is serious about senior health and the Department of Health’s ​​Older Adult Falls Prevention Program has lots of resources to help care providers and seniors themselves.

In 2014, 208,564 people ages 65 and older were treated for falls in California’s emergency departments and 74,945 were hospitalized. Working to prevent falls in older Californians is an issue we should all care about.

The program website has a number of useful links. Check out some of what they’re posting:
California Department of Aging – learn about programs that serve older adults
https://www.aging.ca.gov/

CDC Guide to Preventing Falls – A community-approach to preventing falls
https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/community_preventfalls.html

Stop Falls California – A communication center for falls prevention efforts in the state.
http://www.stopfallscalifornia.org/

The USC Fall Prevention Center of Excellence – Learn best practices for fall prevention.
http://stopfalls.org/

Check out these resources to learn more about what communities and individuals are doing to help protect seniors and prevent falls.

Are you prepared when a fall does happen? With EasyCall, you can be sure your loved ones can get help with the push of a button. Our waterproof pendant comes with a lifetime service guarantee and lets you customize your emergency response. Learn more today.