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.

July 22, 2022

Hydration for Seniors

Water, the most important liquid on the planet, makes up roughly 60% of the human body. That is why it is so important to stay hydrated. Most doctors agree that you should try and consume eight to ten 8-oz. cups (64-80 fluid ounces) of water each day.

The health benefits of drinking water are numerous:

  • Keeps your skin hydrated. Your skin is mostly made of water. When dehydrated, it can lead to disorders and wrinkles. Drinking water is the easiest and cheapest way to stay looking young!
  • Lubricates your joints. Cartilage contains 80% water. Dehydration lessens the effectiveness cartilage has on joints and, in turn, leads to pain and inflammation.
  • Aids in weight loss. Water is the perfect zero-calorie drink to replace soda or other sugary drinks. Drinking a big glass of water before a meal will also help prevent overeating.
  • Promotes healthy kidneys. Your kidneys are primarily used to filter liquids that come through your body. When dehydrated, kidney stones can start to form and, in extreme cases, dehydration can lead to kidney failure.
  • Relieves allergies. When your body is dehydrated, its airway constricts. This heightens breathing difficulties brought on by allergies or asthma.
  • Helps with healthy digestion. The digestive system is reliant on water to process food correctly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and heartburn.

Water is so important to our everyday lives, and we should make a concerted effort to drink the recommended amount. Seniors tend to exercise less, and exercise increases one’s thirst, so they need to be especially careful to drink enough water. 

According to the Institute of Medicine, almost 75% of Americans suffer from dehydration. There are plenty of ways to make sure you reach your daily recommended water intake. Try remembering to drink a glass of water after every bathroom break, or use one of the numerous water tracking apps. Keep a water bottle by your side.

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.

July 15, 2022

Nutrition for Seniors

Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet so your body gets the nutrients it needs. Nutrients are substances in foods that our bodies need to function, and include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Good nutrition is important for energy at every age.  It may also help prevent some diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

But as you age, your body and life change, and so does what you need to stay healthy. For example, you may need fewer calories, but you still need to get enough nutrients. 

Eat foods that give you lots of nutrients without a lot of extra calories, such as:

    • Fruits and vegetables—bright colors are the most nutritious;
    • Whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice;
    • Fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, or soy or rice milk that has added vitamin D and calcium;
    • Seafood, lean meats like poultry, and eggs;
    • Beans, nuts, and seeds.

Avoid empty calories. These are foods with lots of calories but few nutrients, such as chips, candy, baked goods, soda, and alcohol.

Pick foods that are low in cholesterol and fat. You especially want to try to avoid saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are usually fats that come from animals. Trans fats are processed fats in stick margarine and vegetable shortening.

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.

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.

November 18, 2022

When to Give Up the Car Keys?

There are certain signals that might mean it is time to give up the car keys. Unfortunately, very few seniors pay attention to these signs:

  1. You are nervous behind the wheel.
  2. Your reactions are too slow due to your vision.
  3. You have trouble reading street signs.
  4. You’ve had a near mishap because you didn’t see a pedestrian, an object or another vehicle.
  5. You get lost easily.
  6. Your hearing has decreased.
  7. Your legs no longer work perfectly.

We suggest you start talking about these issues with your parents as early as possible. You may want to make a deal with them such as this is the last car we will purchase, and when the car dies, we agree that your driving days are over.

In the optimum situation, an adult child can ask the parent’s physician to discuss driving with their loved one. This generation of older adults has tremendous respect for doctors and often listen to doctors more than their own children. The doctor may suggest that a senior retake the driving test. He or she may be better able to explain the risks and provide alternatives.

There are less optimal ways to stop your parents from driving such as having a relative “borrow the car,” hide or “lose” the car keys, take the car for repair and not bring it back, disable the car or anonymously report your parent to the DNV. While these may work, I cannot ethically recommend them.

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.