407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

December 16, 2022

When You Need to Stay in the Hospital Longer to Get Stronger

Sometimes, your loved one is going to be discharged from the hospital, and you feel that person is not ready to come home. You can refuse discharge. Every state has a quality innovation network Improvement Organization.  These government agencies help people with Medicare and Medicaid. 

KEPRO handles Florida, Georgia, etc. It is a beneficiary and family-centered, quality improvement organization that can help you.  

Quite simply, this is how it works and I tried it with my mother a few years ago. The hospital gives a discharge order. You refuse the order. You call KEPRO for an appeal. A KEPRO physician reviews your loved ones record. The beneficiary and facility are notified of their decision.

Here is the cool part. You almost cannot lose. Reviewing the case takes 1-2 days, sometimes longer if a weekend is involved. Your loved one receives two days of care in the hospital. You are not charged anything for the extra days, because they cannot charge you during an ongoing appeal.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

December 23, 2022

Representative Payee

Some of the millions of people who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits need help managing this money. A person assigned to help you manage your monthly benefits is called a representative payee. The Social Security office may decide you need a representative payee if they receive information that indicates you need help to manage your money. They try to select someone who knows you and wants to help you. Your representative payee should be someone who you trust, who sees you often, and who clearly understands your needs.

A representative payee receives your monthly benefits on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs. Eligible costs include:

  • housing and utilities;
  • food;
  • medical and dental expenses;
  • personal care items;
  • clothing; and
  • rehabilitation expenses (if you’re disabled).

If there is someone you want to be your representative payee, tell a Social Security representative, and they will consider your request. Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be your representative payee. Ask them to contact the Social Security office.

If you receive a decision that you are appointed a representative payee and don’t agree that you need one, or if you want a different representative payee, write to the Social Security office within 60 days to appeal that decision.

If you can’t manage your finances, someone else can help. If you have a trusted friend or family member who can be your representative payee, their publication: A Guide for Representative Payees will provide more information on our representative payee rules.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

December 30, 2022

Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems should provide reliable, 24/7 monitoring by trained monitoring agents, allowing seniors and their caregivers to live with less worry, at home or on the go.

An alert system should provide the following: 

  1. If there is an emergency, you should be able to push the button on your pendant or wristband. Systems with Fall Detection will automatically send an emergency alert to the company if a fall occurs. 
  2. A monitoring center should receive the alert, and a trained monitoring agent should respond to over the base unit’s voice communicator. If there is no response, the agent should send help. 
  3. The medical alert system monitor should notify emergency responders and/or family as needed. Professionally monitored medical alert systems should help make life simpler and safer for seniors and their caregivers. Having safety measures in place can help seniors continue to live their lives independently and provide immense peace of mind to caregivers.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

November 23, 2022

Managing Medication

According to the American Geriatrics Society, more than 80% of older adults are living with multiple health conditions. With each new health problem, things may become exponentially more complicated! A senior may see multiple doctors. There are many appointments to coordinate, and a confusing array of recommendations to follow.

Medication management is quite a challenge. Many seniors take 10 or more medications. This is super complicated, because a drug prescribed for one health problem could worsen another.

Friends and loved ones are often called upon to help these elders. For many families, professional in-home care is the key to helping loved ones juggle multiple conditions.

Professional in home care givers support health management for seniors in the following ways:

  1. Help coordinate healthcare appointments
  2. Drive and accompany clients to medical appointments
  3. Pick up prescriptions and provide medical reminders
  4. Supervise exercise and other recommended activities
  5. Grocery ship and prepare healthy meals to accommodate special diets
  6. Provide housekeeping and laundry services
  7. Remove fall hazards
  8. Assist with bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting

Professional home caregivers allow families to have greater peace of mind and can provide memory care supervision.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

October 28, 2022

Bathroom Safety

Statistics show that many preventable accidents like falls occur in bathrooms. Wet floors and small spaces are some of the causes for concern in a bathroom setting. 

Tips to Aid in Transfers:

  • Do not pull on a person’s arms or under their shoulders.
  • Use a gait belt secured around the loved one’s waist for assistance.
  • Explain each step of the transfer, then give physical assistance and verbal cues during the movement.
  • Allow a loved one time to comprehend what’s expected and to follow through even if he or she is slow.

Bathroom Modeling Tips:

On a toilet, a raised seat or toilet safety frame is recommended to complete the transfer as safely as possible. It is ideal to replace a tub with a stall and a shower chair. Another essential tool for a bathroom transfer is a non-skid bathmat. Grab bars are a must for any caregiver looking to make a loved one’s bathroom transfer-friendly. 

Safety Measures in the Bathroom Design:

  • Use anti-skid material for the bathroom floor.
  • Keep the floor clean and dry.
  • Limit obstacles in the floor plan.
  • Use non-slip strips in your tub or shower.
  • Select impact-resistant shower and bathtub attachments.
  • Put a bathmat with non-skid base next to the bathtub and shower.
  • Install scald-prevention devices, these devices will keep a check on the water temperature.
  • Electrical switches and plugs should always be kept away from water sources.
  • Make sure all electrical outlets have ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • Use door locks that can be unlocked from both sides.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

August 5, 2022

Summer Safety

Summer weather can pose special health risks to older adults and people with chronic medical conditions. 

Hyperthermia is caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body. Heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after prolonged exposure to the heat), heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all forms of hyperthermia. Older adults are at particular risk for these conditions, and this risk can increase with the combination of higher temperature, individual lifestyle, and general health.

Lifestyle Risks:

Seniors seldom drink enough fluids. Other risks include living in housing without air conditioning, lack of mobility and access to transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places, and not understanding how to respond to hot weather conditions. Older people, particularly those with chronic medical conditions, should stay indoors in cooler spaces on hot and humid days, especially when an air pollution alert is in effect.

People without air conditioners should go to places that do have air conditioning, such as senior centers, shopping malls, movie theaters, and libraries. Cooling centers, which may be set up by local public health agencies, religious groups, and social service organizations in many communities, are another option.

Factors that increase the risk of hyperthermia may include:

  • Dehydration
  • High blood pressure or other health conditions that require changes in diet. For example, people on salt-restricted diets may be at increased risk. However, salt pills should not be used without first consulting a doctor.
  • Heart, lung, and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever
  • Use of multiple medications. It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.
  • Medication-reduced sweating, caused by diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and certain heart and blood pressure drugs
  • Age-related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and inefficient sweat glands
  • Being substantially overweight or underweight
  • Alcohol use

Heat stroke is a life-threatening form of hyperthermia. It occurs when the body is overwhelmed by heat and unable to control its temperature. Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include a significant increase in body temperature (generally above 104 degrees Fahrenheit), changes in mental status (like confusion or combativeness,) strong rapid pulse, lack of sweating, dry flushed skin, feeling faint, staggering, or coma. Seek immediate emergency medical attention for a person with heat stroke symptoms, especially an older adult.

If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness:

  • Get the person out of the heat and into a shady, air-conditioned, or other cool place. Urge them to lie down.
  • If you suspect heat stroke, call 911.
  • Encourage the individual to shower, bathe, or sponge off with cool water if it is safe to do so.
  • Apply a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, armpits, and/or groin. These are places where blood passes close to the surface of the skin, and the cold cloths can help cool the blood.
  • If the person can swallow safely, offer fluids such as water, fruit, and vegetable juices. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

November 4, 2022

10 Brain-Boosting Activities

1. Sing: Seniors choirs offer joy and a feeling of togetherness. Musical instruments are appealing and playing boosts brain health. Safe Sauna bathing researchers say that the heat may activate protective proteins and better cardiovascular functioning, reduce inflammation, offer better sleep, reduce stress, and increase relaxation.

2. Tai chi. Tai chi is a slow-motion exercise for self-defense and meditation.

3. Cultivate a positive attitude toward aging. Negative attitudes about aging have a striking effect on memory and on health in general.

4. Get the flu and/or pneumonia vaccination.

5. Have a positive outlook and be optimistic.

6. Add berries, apples, and green tea to your diet.

7. Drink coffee.

8. Get a good night’s sleep.

9. Find a purpose such as giving emotional support to your extended family, volunteering, working at a worthwhile job, engaging in a hobby or creative activity or developing a business that uses your strengths and skills.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

July 1, 2022

Exercising Our Brains

Most people notice changes in their thinking and memory as they grow older. Neurologists tell us that some older adults develop dementia, however, most memory changes are age-related and normal.

Staying physically active benefits every organ in our bodies—and that includes the brain. Our brains also need a good mental workout. Studies show that cognitive decline can be reduced through a combination of daily activities, like using a computer and playing word games.

Mental stimulation encourages new connections between brain cells—and these connections provide alternate pathways for accessing memories, making it easier for the brain to compensate for the cognitive changes associated with dementia.

The emphasis definitely is on “new,” because neurologists say that when it comes to top-notch brain exercise, novelty is especially beneficial. 

  • The number one way to stay mentally (and physically) fit is dance.  The combination of learning new information and movement is especially good for the brain.
  • Consider taking classes—both the information and social interaction help the brain!
  • Learn a new language or art form.
  • Read and join a book club for both mental and social stimulation.
  • Do puzzles of all sorts.
  • Play video games.
  • Get outside and garden!

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

December 9, 2022

Adult Day Care

Adult Day Care is a community-based program. There are more than 4,000 centers across the country with more than 78 percent operating on a non-profit basis. All medical model adult day health care programs are affiliated and licensed under nursing homes. If you are considering an adult day health care program, here are some tips to help you get started in choosing the one best suited for your loved one. 

Select a daycare model: 

Decide whether you want a medical or social model. 

  • Medical Model Adult Day Health Care Program: The medical model program offers adults who are chronically ill or in need of health monitoring access to nursing care, rehabilitation therapy, social work services, and assistance with personal care. Medical model programs have a registered nurse and rehabilitation therapists on site.  
  • Social Model Adult Day Health Care Program: This is the most common type of adult day center. The social model provides seniors with supervised care in a safe environment, as well as a place to socialize and stay physically and mentally active. 

Round-Trip Transportation is Key 

Some adult day health care programs provide door-to-door, round-trip transportation. The vans should be equipped with an electronic lift and other equipment to accommodate people in wheelchairs, walkers or canes. 

Take note of everything!  

  1. What’s your first impression you have after walking through the door?
  2. Are the staff and patients happily engaged in activities together?
  3. Are the recreation and dining areas clean?
  4.  Are the walls brightly decorated with patients’ artwork?
  5. Are there people who speak my language or come from a similar background?
  6. Are the activities offered age appropriate for me?

Emergency and Safety Plans 

Every adult day health care program must have a medical and safety emergency plan. Ask the person who takes you on a tour to show you the written plan.  

  1. What is your procedure if someone falls?
  2. In an emergency, how are clients evacuated from the center?
  3. Do you have smoke detectors?
  4.  Do you have fire extinguishers?
  5. Do you have a defibrillator?

Activities  

Adult day health care programs should have a weekly or monthly calendar of activities posted. If not, ask for it when you’re on your tour. Offerings should range from group activities such as exercise programs, arts and crafts, games etc. Ask whether they provide trips. Do they bring in outside guests to entertain or educate?  

Meals and Snacks  

Adult day health care programs usually provide at least one meal and a snack during the day. Specialty diets, such as low sodium, low sugar and low cholesterol are accommodated at most programs. Ask the center for a copy of their weekly or monthly menu. Try during your tour to taste the food. 

Personal Grooming  

Your loved one may need some assistance with personal grooming. Does the program have adequate staff to handle those needs, such as toileting, showering and other personal care?  For those folks who are incontinent, does the staff handle toileting? 

 After evaluating and experiencing a few adult day health care programs, seeing the range of activities and enthusiasm of the staff, taking a look at the menus and simply “get the feel” of the programs, you’ll be in a better position to select the program that you feel is the most appropriate for your loved one. It’s also a good idea to speak with participants about how they feel about the program while you are on your tour. 

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

December 2, 2022

Improving Cognitive Health

Cognitive performance is not fixed. There are small changes people can make in their daily lives that should sustain higher cognitive functioning in old age.

1. Keep the mind active through work, volunteering, hobbies or playing games. Learning new skills can be a real brain boost. Learning new skills or dance steps can be very beneficial. Using the opposite hand to do a task like brushing your teeth can also be helpful.

2. Engage in social activities, with family, friends, peers, etc.

3. Stay physically active with exercise, or household chores like gardening.

4. Seniors need to stay on top of their physical health because a healthy body is a good foundation for a healthy mind. It’s essential that one handles high blood pressure and other chronic conditions. It’s also important to manage stress, get adequate sleep, and maintain a healthy diet.

By doing a combination of all these things, seniors can expect tangible results. Some evidence suggests that by following healthy practices, seniors can build a cognitive reserve that makes their brain resistant to neuropathological damage. This reserve provides the ability to maximize critical thinking to the end of life, thus helping seniors compensate for natural changes in the brain that accrue with age.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.