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.

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.

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.

Making Your Home Safe for Visiting Seniors

Do you have seniors visiting your home? The holidays will be here soon so now’s a great time to be thinking about ways to make your home safer for elderly parents, family, and friends who might be visiting.

You won’t have to start an entire remodel. A few easy steps can help make your home safe and reduce the likelihood of falls.

Bathroom

  • Most hardware stores carry grab bars that easily clamp on the sides of tubs or walls of shower fixtures. You can even get temporary models that easily detach when they’re no longer needed.
  • For those unsteady on their feet, a lightweight safety bench for the tub makes it much safer for seniors to use bathroom facilities.
  • Install bathtub strips or a non-slip bathtub mat.

 

Bedroom

  • Add night lights to the bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways so your guests can easily see their way through the house at night.

 

Living Room

  • Remove clutter, electrical cords, and any toys that can cause a fall.
  • Loose rugs send thousands of seniors to the hospital every year. Secure rugs in place with two-sided tape or carpet mesh.
  • Keep a flow through the living room by arranging furniture with clear walking paths.

EasyCall is your partner in providing care for our senior loved ones. With customizable response plans and a lifetime guarantee, you’ll know you’re getting the best care possible. EasyCall: help at the touch of a button.

Using Technology to Age in Place

Ninety percent of older Americans want to live in their own home as they age, according to AARP.

It’s no surprise. Many adults have spent years or decades in their current homes, and the idea of leaving behind a place with so many memories can be too much to bear.

Thankfully, its easier than ever for older adults to stay in their homes. With a few upgrades in technology, seniors can make their homes safe and comfortable for years to come.

Medical Alert Systems

A medical alert system can deliver peace of mind by summoning help at the push of a button. Plus, these devices are getting more and more sophisticated. EasyCall’s Freedom Stands model features automatic fall detection, so seniors can get immediate help in the event of a fall without having to press the alert button.

Smart Home Technology

New technologies are letting us connect and automate the systems in our homes in new and exciting ways. These advances spell big benefits for seniors too. Already, there are systems available that can automatically control heating and cooling and lighting.

New sensors are available that can detect a senior’s sleep quality, breathing, heart rate, and daily movement to ensure they’re staying active and alert a loved one or health professional if anything changes.

Telehealth

Telenurse and teledoctor services have been around for a while, but these services have significantly improved with the introduction of smartphones and tablets. With video calling now commonplace, seniors can stay in frequent contact with care providers without having to travel to medical offices.

Regular contact improves general health and enhances communication between patient and provider, leading to better overall care and health outcomes.

Technology will play a major role in the future as more baby boomers retire and look for ways to stay in the homes. EasyCall will be there with leading medical alert technologies to help keep you and your loved ones safe.