Have you heard of the term “solo ager”? Solo aging is used to describe baby boomers who do not have adult children to help care for them during their golden years. As boomers start to age without children they can face unique challenges. These independent and strong seniors will need to make decisions regarding guardianship,Read More
When is the right time to start thinking about long-term care? If you are considering taking care of elderly parents at home, now is the time to take action. You should never put off planning long-term care and having a caregiver in place can help eliminate a great deal of stress.Read More
Wouldn’t your loved one prefer to live out their lives in the comfort of home rather than in a nursing facility? Most older adults, needless to say, would choose their own homes. But for any number of reasons, from physical or mental health issues to dwindling finances, staying at home doesn’t always seem possible.Read More
The initial signs can be so subtle that a lot of people would not even notice that anything is amiss. Mom is outgoing, friendly, and conversational when visiting friends and family and while running errands. However those closest to her are beginning to recognize concerns: being forgetful about the soup cooking on the stove,Read More
The most up-to-date Alzheimer’s data is sobering. The illness is now the 6th leading cause of death, overtaking both breast cancer and prostate cancer put together. And though deaths from many other chronic health conditions, like heart disease, are decreasing, those from Alzheimer’s have escalated in excess of 100%. The toll the illness takes on family caregivers is equally astonishing,Read More
In marriage we consent to stick together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness as well as in health – but what doesn’t come up in our vows to each other is how to handle the growing difficulties of senior care as our parents age.Read More
Remarkable scientific studies are honing in ever nearer towards the eradication of Alzheimer’s disease, this time in the form of two medications already developed and approved by the FDA. This permits accelerated clinical trials and we hope fast-tracking us closer to a treatment.Read More
With more than 325 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it is not easy to think that loneliness would be so common. However, more than 50% of older adults live alone, and more than a million of them are estimated to be chronically lonely. In fact, nearly half of older adults researched stated that their most common source of companionship is the television.Read More
A simple Google search for the word “aging” brings up topics such as “coping with aging,” “what you can do about aging,” and even “the cure to aging.” The negative connotations to aging are, sadly, so ingrained within our culture that it’s estimated that by 2021, we’ll be purchasing over $300 billion in anti-aging products.Read More
We have all known helicopter parents, particularly when a child leaves for college. In fact, we could possibly be guilty of hovering a bit too closely ourselves. Discovering that ideal balance between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not always straightforward.
And now, due to the increased number of sandwich generationers providing care for both children and aging parents,Read More
Do you recall that feeling as a kid once the school bell rang, indicating the end of arithmetic and the beginning of the very best part of the day: recess? There was clearly an immense sensation of independence dashing out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play.Read More
From the second the door swings open and your elderly parent wraps you in a warm hug, through the festive holiday meal and every timeless family tradition, possibilities abound for not just quality time together, but also to assess how your loved one is truly doing and if any warning flags are noticed.Read More
Ah, the holidays: they are oftentimes the most wonderful time of the year, or the most difficult. For many seniors in Massachusetts who have lost relatives, are battling chronic health conditions, or are suffering from isolation and loneliness, the holiday season can result in depression. And, the family caregivers who care for a loved one may also be prone to holiday blues,Read More
Falls among the elderly are all too common and can have dire consequences. Taking precautionary measures is key, including assessing the house for fall dangers like throw rugs as well as other tripping hazards, poor lighting, and an absence of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there’s another tactic being recommended now: creating a fall plan of care,Read More
While we may visualize a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving get-together, with the entire family enjoying high quality time together and Grandma’s classic food, the reality for some families may include something unanticipated: a visit to the hospital. Believe it or not, studies indicate that emergency room visits for seniors jump an astounding 10% – 20% over the holidays.Read More
Businesses have long acknowledged the desire for new parents to take some time away from their career to concentrate on the various requirements of a baby, but what’s been recognized much less is the essential need for adult children to take time off to look after their older loved ones.Read More
The old adage is true: elephants truly do have excellent memories, even in their old age. To illustrate, they’re able to recollect and go back to very particular locations many years after visiting them, regardless of age. Just what exactly can we discover from elephants that might result in improving our own brain functioning as we age?Read More
It’s a conflict that arises for numerous families: older adults adamantly like to age in place in their own homes, while their loved ones worry about their well-being. And there’s an argument to be made in both cases. Seniors, especially individuals who live alone, deal with many different risks: falls that may lead to serious injury,Read More
Whether you’re caring for someone with dementia and memory care issues or you’ve been afflicted with them yourself, it’s critical for you to understand that this is one journey you do not have to take alone.
According to one recent study conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association, the total number of people in Massachusetts living with these conditions rose to 120,000 in 2016.Read More
Family dynamics have a huge impact on a caregiver’s outlook. For those who have been raised by loving parents who provided for all of their needs, offering the same level of care may simply be second nature. But what if you’ve been scarred by childhood experiences, determined to distance yourself from difficult family members later in life,Read More
Have you ever walked into the office or a get-together with friends or family and had someone say to you with great concern, “You really look tired today!” Although you may have been feeling pretty perky before that moment, suddenly you really DO feel tired and rundown. The words we speak to each other and the way we interpret them are powerful.Read More
With a heated level of debate rivaling the Hatfields and McCoys, it seems insurmountable to come to a resolution on the issue of gun control. Yet regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself, there’s one little-discussed scenario that should cause us all to take pause: the alarming combination of dementia and guns.Read More
What’s better than waking up well rested after a good night’s sleep, fully energized and ready to face the day? For many older adults – as many as a third of them – getting sufficient sleep only happens in their dreams. And sadly, it’s a common assumption that poor sleep is simply something to be accepted in our later years – a misconception that Preeti Malani,Read More
Thomas Edison’s infamous words ring true today in the race to find both the cause and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Each day seems to bring hopeful news of yet another clinical trial, followed soon after by the disappointing news that results failed to meet expectations – and so the cycle continues.Read More
They’re common concerns in older years: fatigue, sleeping problems, lack of appetite. And often, they’re written off as just that. Yet for as many as 8 million seniors over age 65, these symptoms are indicative of something more than normal aging – they’re signs of mental illness.Read More
As the expression goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This can certainly be applied to the latest increase of companies offering alternative supplements, dietary programs, and herbal concoctions in an effort to treat, or at least lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association aims to warn us,Read More
For seniors, experiencing surgery always includes some inherent risks, but there’s a little-known effect impacting a significant number of seniors following surgery that people all need to be aware of: POCD (postoperative cognitive dysfunction). POCD takes place in more than 25% of seniors during the days after non-cardiac surgery, and can present with a variety of symptoms,Read More
As the large population of baby boomers continues to get older, and as our life span continues to be extended, our thinking pertaining to coping with chronic pain has to expand accordingly. At present, over 50% of those over age 65 complain of persistent pain – and for ¾ of those dealing with chronic pain,Read More
5.7 million American seniors, or 10 percent of those over age 65, are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – and that number is anticipated to increase to as much as 14 million by the year 2050. The race is on as experts scramble to uncover a cure or at least an effective treatment option.Read More
If you’re providing care for a senior relative, it is likely that you fell into the responsibility without having formal training: you saw the need, and gallantly came forward to satisfy it. Yet, at North River Home Care, substantial training is provided to each of our professional in-home caregivers before they’re fully equipped to properly and effectively take care of older adults.Read More
Telephone cons intended for the elderly aren’t anything new, with an astounding $36 billion lost every year to financial abuse. And the latest senior telephone con circulating is difficult for many seniors to recognize until it’s too late. Center for Elder Law and Justice attorney Nicole K. Parshall explains,Read More
Very early on, we learn the storyline of George Washington’s mishap with the cherry tree and his bold admittance to his parents, “I cannot tell a lie; I chopped down the cherry tree!” Truthfulness is integrated within our character, and in many cases telling a small white lie can wrack us with guilt.Read More
The most noble and admirable decision adult children can make is to open up their home to an aging parent. Our parents raised and took care of us when we needed help and support, so it seems like a no-brainer to return the favor when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live alone.Read More
With Alzheimer’s and dementia affecting so many in the Norwell area, we at North River Home Care want to do all we can to provide the necessary support and resources that family caregivers need.
We’re pleased that our monthly Dementia Caregivers’ Support Group, led by Nadine Shweiri,Read More
The effects of remaining physically active throughout aging are tremendous, but for those with Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer in the progression of the disease. Several recent studies are revealing direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s, including the largest clinical study to date, in which patients who exercised a minimum of 2½ hours per week achieved a higher quality of life than those who refrained from physical activity.Read More
Remember Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house, when the whole family came together around the table to share a hearty meal, conversations, and laughter? Sadly, with many families now living at a distance from their older loved ones, and with so many pressing needs pulling us in different directions, it’s difficult to continue this tradition – and it may be just one of the many factors contributing to the dramatic increase in senior malnutrition.Read More
Those of us who follow the latest research in Alzheimer’s disease are all too familiar with the troublesome amyloid plaques thought to be linked to Alzheimer’s. But could it possibly be that those plaques are actually helpful?
Neuroscientists Rudolph Tanzi and Robert Moir, of Harvard’s largest teaching hospital,Read More
The fascinating results of a recent AARP study are in: those who maintain a healthy diet are twice as likely to consider their mental acuity to be very good or excellent compared to those who rarely eat well. In particular, a diet rich in fish, fruits and vegetables equated to better brain health.Read More
It can be a little intimidating to know exactly what to say and how to act when spending time with a loved one with Alzheimer’s. And, sadly, because of some of the inherent facets of the disease, many times family and friends feel so uncomfortable that they avoid visiting the person at all.Read More
“It’s just been one of those days,” we sometimes bemoan, shrugging our shoulders hopelessly. After all, sometimes things happen that are completely out of our control, and some days they all seem to happen at the same time – making us wish we’d decided to simply stay in bed! But the truth is,Read More
Affecting an incredible number of Americans, vision loss can be as varied as the people who experience it – from simply the need to don a pair of reading glasses to browse through the morning paper, to total blindness. And it’s even more common in older adults, with one in every three elders over age 65 experiencing some form of eye disease that impacts vision,Read More
Financial management help for seniors is a sensitive topic, but one that should be resolved at some point, preferably sooner rather than later. Many adult children are reluctant to muddle with parents’ financial matters until there’s an obvious need, but starting the conversation before the need provides ample opportunity to ensure all things are in order.Read More
It is always best to tell the truth, right? Even so there are times when some truths are better left unsaid or at least worded more positively, especially when talking with aging parents. Although we may have the finest of intentions in wanting to help senior parents navigate life, we are able to help prevent hurt feelings in our loved ones by rethinking statements such as the following:
- Don’t you remember…?
Do you recall how hard it could be when you were a child to learn the concept of sharing with your sisters and brothers? Even though the incredible importance of considering other people’s feelings, as well as being fair, was impressed upon us from a young age, it can nevertheless be a challenge to minimize sibling squabbles about stressful choices we face in adulthood – such as the right way to fairly divide caregiving needs for our aging parents.Read More
“I don’t have dementia There is nothing wrong with me!”
If you have ever heard a loved one with dementia frustratingly communicate this or perhaps a similar sentiment, you may have believed the person was just in denial and unwilling to accept a tough diagnosis. The stark reality is,Read More
It is one of the most difficult decisions we face in older years, and a remarkably delicate issue for adult children to broach with their elder parents: relinquishing the car keys. Driving a vehicle, while supplying an inherent feeling of freedom and independence, can become tremendously risky due to a variety of conditions associated with getting older.Read More
Most people desire the very best medical care for our family members, but is it feasible that every so often, less is the most beneficial? According to a recent report published in Plos One by Dr. Martin Makary, professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,Read More
Living far from family makes it really difficult to go visit our older loved ones as often as we’d like, but during the holiday season, families make an extra effort for quality time with each other – making it the perfect time to review an older family member’s safety and wellbeing.Read More
Looking at the holidays through the lens of Alzheimer’s disease can look far from merry and bright. Family caregivers might be stressed with care duties, and the interruption to routine can cause more distress for a senior struggling with the impact of dementia.
However, with a little creative thinking and modification of expectations,Read More
Let’s be honest: providing care for an aging loved one can be exhausting, overwhelming, and isolating. As care needs progress, particularly when a chronic condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease is at play, family caregivers may feel as though they’re in over their heads, and getting through the most basic aspects of the day – showering,Read More
As much as we’d prefer to turn a blind eye to it, family friction is prevalent in some form for most of us, and during a time of crisis, is often exacerbated. When stress levels are heightened, it’s natural to seek a target to serve as an outlet for those feelings;Read More
The world of Alzheimer’s disease research is expanding, and now there’s a way every one of us can help hasten the discovery of a cure. Through an online game, Stall Catchers, thousands of people are devoting time to sorting through slides of mouse brains to aid researchers in determining the effectiveness of treating cerebral blood flow problems to reverse memory loss.Read More
Aging involves adapting to a variety of changes, and how we take care of our bodies is one of the most significant ones. We know the importance of staying physically active, but may not realize that the old tried-and-true exercise methods we’ve long employed need to be modified after age 50,Read More
There’s encouraging news for those with peripheral artery disease (PAD), a debilitating condition that can result from smoking or diabetes and can increase a person’s risk of developing a heart attack or stroke, and sometimes resulting in limb amputation. Medicare will now cover the cost of treadmill therapy when recommended and supervised by a medical professional.Read More
The Internet provides us with instantaneous answers to any question we can imagine, educational opportunities beyond what we could have dreamed of a generation ago, socialization enhancement, and so much more. One of the more fascinating online developments for those of us in the senior care industry has been brain training programs – the computerized memory games and puzzles that promote enhanced cognitive functioning.Read More
It’s a club none of us wants to be a part of; nevertheless, as many as 10 million Americans are members: sharing a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Caused by the wearing away of cartilage over the years, osteoarthritis often affects larger joints, such as the knees, and can be debilitating to a senior’s quality of life.Read More
In a perfect world, healthcare would revolve around you and your personal preferences, sticking to your specific needs and wishes – fitting within your agenda and routine, unhindered by problems like an unwavering healthcare professional who views health care choices in black and white. The truth is far from perfect,Read More
It is improbable – a nice, elderly, sometimes confused grandma with dementia being handcuffed and placed under arrest. Even so, that very scene is happening at an astonishing rate among the elderly, over 100,000 of them, based on the latest stats – an increase of almost 30% in the past decade.Read More
Perhaps your family rivals those on Walton’s Mountain in its unconditional love, unwavering patience with one another, and determination to stick together through thick and thin. But if your family is like most, there’s at least some level of dysfunction, some leftover diehard sibling rivalry, and even some lingering competition to be Mom’s and Dad’s favorite.Read More
Tossing and turning, overthinking and worrying are all too common in older adults who struggle with falling – and staying – asleep. Other than feeling a bit foggy the next morning, however, and feeling the need for an afternoon nap to catch up on lost sleep, the repercussions have seemed minimal.Read More
Is there any better feeling than knowing you’re cared for, protected, and safe? Parents thrive on ensuring their children are enveloped in the comfort of knowing their needs will be met, providing the safety net that allows them the confidence to explore the world around them. But there comes a point in all children’s lives when the yearning for independence outweighs the benefit of protection,Read More
Medicare coverage of medicines for seniors is often crucial, especially because on average, older adults take a shocking 15-18 prescription medications. And with the standard pricetag of over $11,000 per year for the most common prescription drugs prescribed by doctors for the elderly, it usually is debilitating when Medicare suddenly declines coverage.Read More
Summer vacations are something everyone looks forward to! Exploring new places, checking items off our bucket lists, leaving the worries of everyday life behind. And helping a senior loved one enjoy such a thrill makes it all the better. There will be, however, certain considerations to take into account that can help lead the way to an outstanding vacation with an older adult:
- Schedule a pre-trip physician visit.
As the saying goes, there’s no place like home; but what do you do when someone you love and care for insists on going home – when that person already IS home? When you are providing care for a loved one with dementia, unfortunately this discussion can be a common occurrence.Read More
We’re living longer than ever before, thanks to incredible advances in science and medicine, and as a result, the sandwich generation (those caring for elderly parents and children simultaneously) are finding a new niche as they age: the boomerang generation.
“Aging together” is the descriptor for older adults whose mom and dad are still living and needing care.Read More
Older adults are no exception to the rule that we should exercise and stay active to maintain health. However, for adults struggling with arthritis care, getting an adequate amount of physical fitness can be troublesome.
Thankfully, the most recent recommendations ease back on the intensity of exercise for aging adults with arthritis,Read More
There may be no faster way to turn a conversation at a summer barbecue from joy to gloom than if you were to bring up the topic of dementia. Whether you’ve witnessed it firsthand or know only about this disease through what you’ve read, typically the experience has involved negative connotations.Read More
What if there was a medication that could treat not just one, but three devastating diseases: leukemia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s? Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center are hopeful that nilotinib fits the bill. Currently approved for use in those with one type of leukemia, a small trial is causing great excitement in its promising results to rid the brain of toxic proteins.Read More
For the first time ever, a treatment option that’s become increasingly popular in Parkinson’s patients – deep-brain stimulation – is being tested on a stroke survivor. Involving the implantation of an electrode that stimulates a particular area of the brain, the anticipated response will be a reversal of the paralysis so often encountered following a stroke,Read More
Most of us have at least one area of the house that’s designated as the catch-all for everything from our high school yearbooks and stacks of photo albums to boxes of clothes, tools, and assorted memorabilia that we may have a use for “someday”. Garages, attics, closets, and hope chests were made for just such a purpose,Read More
Certain groups of people are typically stereotyped, and it can be hard not to have preconceived ideas of what these people are actually like. Think about the words “drug addict”. What immediately comes to your mind? A young adult struggling to get through daily living without a fix, potentially resorting to a life of crime to fund his or her habit?Read More
Oftentimes at the end of a day caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, instead of the stress winding down, it can ramp up. A common experience in dementia called sundowning is when seniors become fearful, restless and agitated during the evening hours. This can be stressful for all involved.Read More
Do you find yourself constantly wishing for just a few more hours in the day to help you accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished? In particular, if you are a member of the sandwich generation – those who provide care for both their children and their senior parents –Read More
Along with the busyness in life, how often do we grab a cup of coffee and a donut on our harried way to work, stopping for junk food on the way home to avoid the extra task of having to cook? Younger adults with a higher metabolism, optimal muscle strength,Read More
Since your mother gave up her car keys and is having difficulties moving around on her own, you and your siblings have made the decision to share the task of providing for her care needs. One of you needs to take her to the doctor’s office, beauty shop and grocery store.Read More
When it comes to caregiving for a loved one with dementia, it sure would be nice to have a handbook with all the answers, rather than learning through a hit or miss type of approach. The different phases of the disease that have to be worked through cause it to become even more tricky;Read More
It’s hard to make healthy dietary choices when recommendations seem to change from one week to the next. We’d been told that saturated fats from sources such as butter, red meat and fried food were detrimental, but later research indicated there wasn’t enough proof that those who gave up these delicacies improved their heart health – and so,Read More
Anti-bullying campaigns are everywhere these days. No longer can a rough and tough ten-year-old get away with teasing and tormenting his classmates; we’re now a zero tolerance society when it comes to bullying. But is it possible there’s a different, less visible form of bullying happening – that of overstepping boundaries with aging parents,Read More
Researchers are shedding some new light on treatments to potentially impact Alzheimer’s disease: light therapy. The effects of light are only just beginning to be tapped, and already showing some interesting and promising results.
For example, MIT researchers are testing a type of flickering light therapy,Read More
When a heart attack strikes – and for hundreds of thousands of people, that’s going to be sometime this year – there’s no time to plan a course of action or contemplate the everyday ways in which life will change afterwards. As with anything, the best defense is a good offense,Read More
Sweetie, honey, dear – terms of endearment such as these may be appreciated when uttered by our spouse or when directed to our very young children, but how do seniors react to them? North River’s home care experts believe that many are downright offended. And while health care professionals,Read More
Pick a senior, any senior, and you’re likely to hear the same sentiments: the vast majority of older adults agree that they’d prefer to spend their elder years at home over moving to a nursing home facility. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about who pays for Massachusetts home care.Read More
With as many as 18 million family members providing care for an elderly loved one, the latest report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is alarming: these caregivers are “routinely marginalized and ignored within the health care system” – resulting in seniors at serious risk for harm from uninformed,Read More
With the average senior taking anywhere between 15 and 18 different prescriptions each day, it’s certainly easy to understand the prevalence of missed or incorrect doses – and the health risks that go along with those. Enter the pill organizer: such a simple concept of placing the correct meds into the appropriate little boxes each day.Read More
We’re always thrilled to share the latest developments in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease, but none have looked quite so promising as the latest: aducanumab. In its first clinical trial, scientists observed a significant decrease in the level of amyloid plaque in the patients’ brains, and even better,Read More
Mom appears to be a tad perplexed lately. The other day, she mistakenly used salt in place of sugar in her well known chocolate chip cookie recipe. She called the cat by my brother’s name. And she mislaid her handbag, to discover it in the medicine cabinet. Is it possible she’s developing Alzheimer’s disease or a different type of dementia?Read More
It’s here: we’ve gotten into the season of sweet treats! From sugar cookies to pecan pies to candy canes and chocolate mint cocoa, it’s tough to overlook the overabundance of delicious sweets that bombard us, and the special thoughts they bring to mind, particularly close to the holidays. But what result does this surge in sugar consumption have on our health and wellness,Read More
When finger pricks, sugar ranges, and insulin injections are often at the forefront of your brain, take heart, diabetic patients: the Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the very first manufactured pancreas – a hybrid closed-loop system that comes with an insulin pump accompanied by a continuous glucose monitor.Read More
It’s long been a hush-hush topic, and the stigmas continue today, but mental illness, in one form or another, affects at least tens of millions of Americans. In honor of National Mental Health Month, we at North River Home Care want to help those struggling with mental illness to break the chains of silence,Read More
We’re a do-it-yourself society; one that highly values independence, and applauds those who pull themselves up by their bootstraps and handle everything on their own. But the reality is, there are some things we simply can’t do alone; things that can cause harm to ourselves or others if we resist seeking assistance.Read More
Those who’ve ever spent time with young children know what a treasure trove of creativity results from a basket filled with miscellaneous odds and ends. Popsicle sticks, buttons, clothes pins, and paper clips can be transformed from their typical mundane uses into princesses, dragons, race cars, or a family of teddy bears – the possibilities are endless!Read More
Looking around your parents’ home, the home where you grew up, brings back a slew of memories. The winding staircase you raced down as a child and posed on for wedding portraits. The family room fireplace where everyone gathered to play games and tell stories after dinner. Mom insists she never wants to leave the comfort and familiarity of home;Read More
One of the latest buzz phrases, “design thinking,” has become synonymous with creating products targeted specifically to the elderly. However, its true purpose actually encompasses so much more: creating a solution through products that makes life easier – regardless of age.
While seniors can certainly benefit from the development of carefully thought out products,Read More
With over $900 million in funding now available for research, could the race towards finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease possibly be entering the home stretch? As those with loved ones impacted by the disease watch and wait with bated breath, a variety of trials – some with greater success than others – seem to be pointing to a similar conclusion: rather than one silver bullet to cure Alzheimer’s,Read More
With many older adults reducing their activity level, it may seem counterintuitive to worry about dehydration. But the reality is, as many as 31% of seniors are diagnosed with dehydration, due in part to the normal aging process. And the benefits of helping seniors stay hydrated are monumental: less falls,Read More
According to a study that was recently conducted by Alzheimer’s Disease International, one person on Earth develops a new case of dementia every three seconds.
As of 2015, there were 46.8 million people worldwide living with the disease. By the end of 2017, that number had already grown to as many as 50 million people.Read More
No doubt you can think of a variety of ways to finish that sentiment – things you’ve always dreamed of doing, but put on the shelf until you have a chance to pursue them. But what about your senior loved ones? Don’t they still have dreams,Read More
Picture this scenario: your elderly mother, who lives alone, suffered a fall, fractured her arm and ankle, and is now being released from the hospital. Leafing through her discharge papers reveals the need for medications, physical therapy, medical follow-up in several weeks, and a number of symptoms to watch for that would warrant a return to the E/R.Read More
There’s no emotional rollercoaster quite like the one ridden by family members providing care for an aging or chronically ill loved one. In our experience, there’s hardly an emotion that does NOT come into play at some point during caregiving – and sometimes, the majority of those emotions can happen all within the span of a day!Read More
There’s never been a more exciting time in the world of Alzheimer’s research than now, and new developments seem to be springing up each time we turn around! The latest findings are slated to have a huge impact in the quest for treatments and a cure: the correlation between Alzheimer’s and the body’s natural immune response to infections.Read More
Let’s face it: cataracts and aging go together like peanut butter and jelly. 90% of those age 65 and older develop cataracts, and by the age of 75, as many as 50% have experienced vision loss as a result of them. And so far, the only recourse to restore cleared vision has been surgery.Read More
Today’s generation of seniors is inundated with an explosion of high tech products aimed at improving their safety and independence and enhancing their lives. At the touch of a button or two, they can instantly visit “in person” with friends and family through Skype, wear a necklace that responds with emergency assistance when needed,Read More
Since moving out of state last year, you’ve made it a point to call Mom every Sunday afternoon, no exceptions. After catching up on the week’s news, she always reassures you that yes, she’s eating well, taking her meds, getting plenty of rest, and doing perfectly fine.
Family dynamics: they can shape who we are from where we’ve been, and the roots from our past can grow stubbornly deep. When a hurtful family history collides with a present family caregiving need, is it possible to work together for a positive outcome?
AARP offers the following tips to help family members overcome difficult dynamics and provide the best care for a loved one:
- Learn from the past.
If you’ve spent any length of time with a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you know firsthand how frustrating and tragic the loss of memory can be. Experiences that impacted a lifetime gradually slip away into oblivion. And it’s been widely accepted that once these memories are gone, they’re gone for good.Read More
Haven’t we all heard this advice from well-meaning friends and relatives, especially when we’re feeling under the weather? Or, wondered about the benefit to our senior loved ones as we watch those happy and active seniors in supplement ads, playing golf and enjoying life to the fullest?Read More
Sound familiar? Nothing takes the place of a well balanced diet and plenty of exercise. For seniors whose nutrient requirements aren’t being met through diet, however, this is a common refrain that, thankfully, can often be remedied through vitamin supplements.Read More
What first comes to mind when you hear the phrase “palliative care”? For many, it’s synonymous with end of life care. The true purpose of palliative care, however, is to bring relief from symptoms such as pain, vomiting and nausea that result from either a disease or from the treatment for that disease.Read More
An astounding leap in neurological scientific research is in progress, courtesy of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in the form of the creation of “mini-brains” comprised of human brain cells. Although microscopic – about the size of a housefly’s eye – the impact for research is poised to be astronomical.Read More
Family caregivers, you may feel at times like the gravitational center of your family’s universe, caring for the many and varied needs of elderly parents, teenagers, a spouse, a career, pets, a home (or two!)…the list is exhaustive, and the accompanying feelings can be equally exhausting. Let’s face it: it’s hard – no,Read More
It weighs only 3 pounds, 75% of which is water, yet it produces enough energy to power a light bulb and to process information at a speed of up to 268 miles per hour. Our brains are perhaps the most incredible, complex, and mysterious parts of our bodies.Read More
Periods of forgetfulness, confusion, disorientation – witnessing these in a senior loved one can trigger an immediate alarm that Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia has taken hold. And although these symptoms are a concern, it’s important to realize that they could be indicative of a variety of other conditions,Read More
Although as many as a third of senior Americans are experiencing some degree of hearing impairment, most are hesitant to take action to get their hearing tested, likely due to a number of concerns: denial, fear, and cost, to name a few.
Enter the latest offering from the National Hearing Test,Read More
We’ve all heard them, and perhaps even said them ourselves – those little “niceties” intended to make seniors feel less aged, such as, “Here you go, ‘young’ lady!” And while comments such as these may seem harmless, and even helpful to boost a senior’s self-esteem, recent studies are pointing to a polar opposite effect of these stereotypical comments and actions,Read More
The race to end Alzheimer’s disease has taken a new and exciting direction, in light of the National Institutes of Health’s recent announcement that the experimental drug BPN14770 is poised to begin a clinical human trial. With less potential side effects than its precursor, rolipram,Read More
The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with friends and loved ones, but it’s rarely considered a relaxing time of year. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season, from shopping to parties to family gatherings, can be highly stressful, and when you’ve got a loved one to care for,Read More
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who is providing care for a senior loved one, the approaching holidays may seem more like the most stressful time of the year. Carving out time for yourself may have been relegated to the very bottom of your to-do list,Read More
A healthy diet is important for everyone, but doubly so following a cancer diagnosis. Proper nutrition can help cancer patients gain the strength they need to endure chemotherapy treatments, defend against infections, prevent body tissue from breaking down, and rebuild tissue. Eating well can also help patients cope with any side effects of cancer treatments and may even be able to help them handle higher doses of certain drugs.Read More
When a loved one has cancer, it’s natural to want to drop everything and help him or her, but taking on the role of a caregiver is not without challenges. Cancer treatments and their side effects can be particularly difficult for both the patients themselves and their loved ones,Read More
The prospect of losing your vision can be a scary one. We depend so much on our eyes and what they tell us about the world around us. Aside from showing us the beauty around us, our eyes tell us of the dangers ahead, such as a dangling electrical cord or an over-boiling pot.Read More
Losing your vision, particularly later in life, can have a great impact on your independence, and often, your sense of self as well. If vision deteriorates as your loved one ages, he or she may be reluctant to talk about this, perhaps out of fear of the unknown or worry that he or she may be taken out of her home environment.Read More
Falls among the elderly can cause not only injuries from cuts and bruises to serious hip fractures and head trauma, but also a chain reaction of health complications. Researchers have found that many elderly who fall, even if uninjured, develop a fear of falling, causing them to limit their activities,Read More
Each year, one out of three adults age 65 and older falls, the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among seniors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Knowing what can be done around the house to help prevent or reduce the risk of falls can save a senior from the emergency room or worse.Read More
Diabetes can affect a person from head to toe, and the eyes are no exception. Although it’s true that those with diabetes are at a higher risk of potential blindness, most diabetics are more inclined to develop only minor eye conditions. Maintaining a schedule of preventative care eye exams is imperative,Read More
One of the top concerns for diabetics, aside from managing the disease itself, is the havoc diabetes can wreak on the feet. Because of the potential for nerve damage, restricted blood flow, and a weakened immune system, wounds, particularly on the feet, can be difficult to heal.
To stay a step ahead of diabetes-related foot problems,Read More
Life is forever altered for those who’ve experienced a heart attack or stroke. While many of the changes are extremely positive – such as a healthier diet and lifestyle – they can also be overwhelming. Suddenly being forced to give up artery-clogging comfort foods, smoking, and other unhealthy habits,Read More
We’re all familiar with the importance of keeping an eye on our blood pressure. We even have the convenience of checking our blood pressure while waiting for a prescription at the pharmacy or during a shopping trip. But how do we know these readings are as accurate as they should be?Read More
A dangerous fall can happen anytime and anywhere, and while we tend to be most concerned about frail seniors and falling, seniors who appear strong and healthy can also be susceptible to falls in the home. Many otherwise healthy older adults experience some normal changes that occur as people age,Read More
A fall can be a devastating, even life-changing event for an older adult. According to NIH Senior Health, more than 1.6 million seniors in the US are admitted to the emergency room each year due to fall-related injuries. Falls are also the number one cause of fractures,Read More
The delicious holiday dinner concludes with crumbs on the plates. Some family members have drifted away to monitor wiggly children anticipating gifts, others are laughing and enjoying a coffee at the table…and grandmother sits quietly in the corner, separate from the conversations and activity due to poor hearing. How many holidays have you spent like this?Read More
Finding holiday activities that delight both young and old can be challenging at best! The energy level of younger generations often far surpasses that of senior family members, and those in between are often fully engrossed in technology; is it possible to find a common thread to bond everyone together?Read More
As more Americans choose to remain in their own homes as they age, oftentimes the responsibility for care falls on a loved one’s shoulders. In fact, statistics show that services of the over 50 million people providing some level of care to family members represents 80 percent of all home care services delivered today.Read More
Statistics show that most adults would like to remain at home as they age, and with the help of a professional in-home caregiver, the possibility of avoiding a move to a nursing home can become a reality. This allows for comfort, independence and self-reliance, which are huge benefits in and of themselves,Read More
Affording in-home care can be challenging. Many people assume that Medicare will cover their home care needs, but that isn’t the case. Most non-medical home care services are paid for out of pocket. In our last blog, we posted a few tips on how to use private funds to pay for home care.Read More
Your aging mother needs some help to remain independent and wishes to remain at home, but how will you afford her care? This is a question millions of Americans are currently facing. Luckily, you have options.
When it comes to paying for in-home care, you will likely find that many of the services will have to be paid for out of pocket.Read More
As we mentioned in our last blog post, companies that assist employees with their elder care responsibilities see not only happier employees, but also a more profitable bottom line. Why? Statistics show that:
- Nearly 75% of family caregivers have had to change jobs or stop working because of the demands of family caregiving
- Increased absenteeism and workday interruptions are reported,
Competitive pay, health insurance, and vacation time are great employee benefits, but many of today’s 9-to-5 employees need a perk that all too often gets overlooked in the benefits package.
More than 1 out of 4 households is involved in caregiving for an aging or disabled family member,Read More
In our last blog post, we discussed the benefits of choosing a professional home care agency to provide home care services. But, what type of services does your loved one really need? If you’ve decided it’s time to enlist in-home help for a loved one,Read More
When a loved one is in need of in-home care, there are many available choices, and deciding where to turn can be challenging. For example, should you hire a professional home care agency, a privately hired individual, or use a registry? And how can you know which home care option is best?Read More
In our last blog, we shared a checklist of items that may indicate that your elderly loved one could benefit from a helping hand to remain safely at home. One area of concern that may be overlooked is compulsive hoarding. For those who grew up during the Depression,Read More
Sometimes it’s hard for seniors to admit they need help to stay at home, or they may not even be aware that it’s time for some extra help to maintain a healthy and safe home environment. Is your elderly loved one safe at home, or are there hidden dangers you’re unaware of?Read More
Millions of Americans are taking on the role of family caregiver for an elderly or disabled loved one, but few are prepared for the challenges that come with caregiving. It’s normal for caregivers to feel overwhelmed at first, but there are ways to empower yourself as a family caregiver and take control of your new role instead of letting it take control of your life.Read More
Stress is a part of everyday live, but for a full-time family caregiver, stress can be overwhelming. The stress and challenges of caregiving can take a toll on a caregiver mentally and physically, and can often lead to depression and an overall decrease in health. However, caregiver burnout isn’t just a problem for the caregiver.Read More
In our last blog, we shared some tips for initiating a conversation with your elderly loved one about bringing in an in-home caregiver to keep him safe and enhance the quality of his life. Once your loved one is on board with the idea, what happens next?Read More
Determining when your elderly loved one needs some extra help in order to remain safely at home can be tricky. Even trickier is convincing that elderly loved one to agree that it’s time for some assistance. If you’re sensing the need to initiate a conversation about bringing in a home caregiver,Read More
Everyone has different needs and care requirements as they age. For example, there are some 100-year old individuals living independently, while some 60-year olds need daily assistance with care. A first step in planning for care is to take stock via an assessment by a qualified individual. Preparing a long-term care plan can seem overwhelming,Read More
For hospitals, reducing readmission rates among high-risk patients is vital. The article “Two Ways Hospitals Can Reduce Avoidable Readmissions,” posted by Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), reports successful efforts from four hospitals with low 30-day readmission rates, in part, due to collaborating with inpatient and outpatient providers such as home care providers to provide a continuum of care.Read More
Thanks to recent healthcare reform regulations, hospitals today are under increased pressure to reduce patient readmissions in order to avoid costly fines. It’s a big battle to fight, considering that nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days, translating to approximately 2.6 million seniors at a cost of over $26 billion every year.Read More
Seniors are especially at risk in high heat situations. Large stretches of the USA are experiencing extreme temperatures at the moment. Care-givers need to check on the elderly. If you live in another city, call the police department, or someone you know, to check on your loved one.Read More
Enjoying a breezy spring day or the warm summer temperatures don’t have to be a distant memory for elders and caregivers. After being cooped up in the house for possibly months at a time, senior adults can breathe in the fresh air, even if they are experiencing mobility problems.Read More
As you start down the sometimes difficult road of caring for your parents, you’ll confront a range of challenges from the profound to the practical. You’ll find it’s a life-changing experience — one that’s often as inspiring as it is painful. To get you started, here’s a list of the important life issues you’ll face in the months and years to come:
- Understanding your parents’
What to expect
The cost of in-home care usually ranges between $10 and $30 an hour, depending on the location (urban areas tend to be more expensive), the type of care needed (simple help around the house is less expensive than skilled help with bathing,Read More
Having problems remembering to take pills, buy grocery items, or make appointments? Everyone experiences memory problems sometimes. Memory experts often recommend the following simple aids to people with mild cognitive impairment or early symptoms of dementia. But anybody (including harried caregivers!) who’s ever forgotten something important can benefit.Read More
Each year, U.S. News and World Report releases its list of “Best Nursing Homes,” determined by quarterly ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and it also issues an Honor Roll which consists this year of 39 nursing homes that earned the highest possible ratings in all four quarters of 2011.Read More
North River Home Care has completed and received its Home Care Pulse Certification. This certification program is dedicated to the measurement of client and employee satisfaction scores, North River Home Care is now officially certified in home care quality.
“We know that sometimes it is difficult to make care decisions when you don’t have specific experience with an agency.Read More
It’s never too late to start a New Year’s resolution!
We recently came across a list of New Year’s resolutions for senior citiziens. They are designed to help you maintain your physical and mental health, improve your social life and help you live a happier and fuller life.Read More
I had to stop by and see this with my own eyes today.
Sylvia Carlson is back in her own home in Quincy after successfully completing rehab for a broken hip at Hancock Park Rehab & Nursing Center.
She just got back home yesterday and spent much of today being interviewed by the North River Home Care agency staff who are staying with her and helping her.Read More
“Go away, you thief,” Margaret screamed when her son knocked on the door of her room. “You stole my money.” He opened the door and entered. “Get away!” she screamed again. She was sitting in her easy chair. A cup of coffee was on the table next to her. She grabbed it and threw it at him.Read More
Below is a cute video put out by The Joint Commission about reducing the risk of falling.
Roughly 1 of every 3 people age 65 and older is injured from a fall every year. Reducing the risk of a fall can help seniors live healthier and longer lives.Read More
We are pleased to announce the opening of our new office in Sandwich, MA.
We can be found at: 449 Route 130, Suite 20, Sandwich.
Senior Citizens Learn Social Media
Classes on how to use Facebook are becoming very popular with senior citizens in the U.S., who say that social networking reduces depression and fights memory loss.
Senior centers, retirement homes and assisted living facilities nationwide are now offering computer classes that branch off into specific courses focusing on social networking and teaching older adults how to engage with these tools.Read More
We were recently highlighted in print and radio for our Pet Therapy program. It’s a great service for our seniors who may no longer be able to have a dog of their own.Read More
UCSF’S Prusiner receives President’s National Medal of Science
Stanley B. Prusiner, MD
UCSF Nobel laureate Stanley B. Prusiner, MD, UCSF professor of neurology and director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, today (Oct. 15, 2010) was named to receive the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor for science and technology.
If you have an elder that is one of the 23 percent of folks with some degree of hearing loss, you may want to try these top ten tips when trying to communicate with them. There are many things that can frustrate an elder, but not being able to understand what someone is saying to them due to hearing loss is right at the top of the list.Read More
Are you concerned that mom or dad should no longer be driving?
There is a new workbook available for families.
As a way of providing an additional tool for families working with an older driver, Keeping Us Safe has developed the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” workbook.Read More
As an elder care provider in the Boston area, we are concerned about the flu. It’s that time of year again. We’ve had many home care clients, caregivers, and families asking us how to prevent and avoid the flu.
There are some great ideas on the CDC website: CDC Flu Website
and on the Health and Human Services website: Health and Human Services Flu.Gov
Here’s another approach to avoiding the flu (video is from the Dept.Read More
As a caregiver you have to find a doctor that you can trust and develop a rapport with, this can be challenging at best. Finding a qualified doctor can be especially challenging for a caregiver of the the elderly population because many doctors are not specially trained in geriatric medicine.Read More
Many of us do not get the proper nutrition that our bodies require from the foods that we consume. In general, most people do not maintain a healthy and well balanced diet from which the nutrients could be derived. Failing to do this could result in a number of adverse health effects due to vitamin deficiencies within the body –Read More
Caring for an aging and ailing loved one can be a daunting task. Most families make an effort to keep their elderly loved ones at home, sacrificing much of their own lives in the process. For some families, care giving begins to take its toll on the care provider and they eventually find themselves being forced to consider alternatives that they may never have otherwise.Read More
Problems with joints and bones are a painful fact of life for many people. However, these conditions are often exacerbated in the elderly. These afflictions make getting around difficult at best, thereby forcing many to rely on mobility aids for walking or even standing, and possibly home care. Most of the aged population just chalk up the aches and pains to ‘arthritis’Read More
Financial scams involving seniors have grown exponentially over the past several years. These scams come via postal mail, unsolicited telephone calls, and sometimes even through the Internet. The scam artists tend to prey on the unsuspecting and many have found the seniors to be prime targets. The reason that the elderly end up being the targets of these scams could be that they get confused more easily or have a more trusting nature than other sectors of society.Read More
The summer heat can be dangerous – especially for the youngest and the eldest portions of society. Each year millions of people are affected by heat related illnesses, injury, and even death. These illnesses occur when the body is not able to cool itself in an effective manner. If the body temperature rises too quickly,Read More
Keeping cool during the summer heat can be a challenge for everyone. As the temperatures begin to rise, most of us go indoors and turn the thermostat down on the air conditioning without a second thought. However, some of the most vulnerable among us may not have that option. When providing elderly care it is important to be aware of some of the following points.Read More
Recently, the Center For Disease Control (CDC) released a study estimating that forty seven thousand elderly Americans are injured each year due to falls attributed to the use of mobility aids such as canes and walkers. With these shocking figures in mind we have given you some of our caregiver advice to help avoid these situations.Read More
Most families have never heard of a Geriatric Care Manager(GCM), and the services GCM’s provide can be invaluable to many seniors and families.
What does a Geriatric Care Manager do?
A Geriatric Care Manager does a variety of tasks focused on assisting the elderly with overall health and well being.Read More
It seems increasingly likely that some form of driving test will become a reality for Massachusetts seniors.
The Boston Globe ran this article today.
Pressure mounts to test elder drivers
Lawmakers urged to stiffen rules
By Peter Schworm Globe Staff / June 8,
If you are concerned about the safety and ease of living for yourself or your parents as they grow older and want to stay in their home, some home modifications make sense. As a leading provider of senior home care we have some hints and tips for you.
Remodeling a bathroom is the most common alteration within homes.Read More
Did you know that roughly 25% of senior citizens take more than 3 pills per day? With most seniors taking some kind of medication necessary for their health, it’s an unfortunate reality that many do not take their medication as prescribed. Here are a few suggestions on how to remember to take medications on time for you or your loved one:Read More
North River Home Care provides our home health aides with some of the highest level of training on Alzheimers’s disease in the home care industry (For details on our dementia training see our page on Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care) . We provide home health care, elder care,Read More
The Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org is offering a series of telephone forums to family caregivers. There is no cost for any of the forums.
The topics and times are as follows:
Practical Guide to Providing Home Care
Wednesday April 15th 1:00-2:00 pm
- Offers tips and tools for bathing,
When speaking with families about home care, I always explain the importance of our care provider tracking system. It is called telephony and it tracks the exact time our aides start and finish their shifts. It creates accountability and gives management a clear view of what is happening in the field.Read More
I saw this article on Agingcare.com and thought it was a great overview of a common problem with the elderly, it’s not just eating poorly, it’s a lack of interest in food. The original article can be found by clicking here
Ten Reasons Why Your Parent May Not Be Eating Properly…and What To Do About It By Leonard J.Read More
North River Home Care provides our home health aides with some of the highest level of training on Alzheimers’s disease in the home care industry (For details on our dementia training see our page on Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care) .Read More
We are happy to say we were chosen as the business of the month by the Norwell Chamber of Commerce for the month of February, 2009. We did an interview with the Norwell Mariner, and they published it a couple of weeks ago. Many thanks to the folks at the Norwell Chamber of Commerce and the Mariner,Read More
Yet again, the people at PBS produce a remarkable show related to issues affecting our elderly population. Last week I watched their latest production, “My Father, My Brother and Me” which follows reporter Dave Iverson after he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He travels all over the country interviewing advocates,Read More
I recently watched the outstanding PBS show Caring For Your Parents. What a moving, remarkable program. It’s 2 hours long, you can watch it by clicking here: Caring or, I’m happy to loan your my copy of the DVD. “Caring for Your Parents” covers the struggle to keep parents at home and the tension so common among their adult children.Read More
This article appeared in the Boston Globe November 8, 2008. It’s a quick, feel good story about Visting Nurses, and summarizes what most care providers are trying to accomplish.
“It’s about the continuity of care, with the goal being for the patients to remain in their home”Read More
We recently had Andrea Schein JD, Certified Rehab Counselor with Massachusetts Commission for the Blind in to train our caregivers on how to assist vision-impaired clients. Andrea addressed the major causes of vision loss and misconceptions about blindness. She brought in vision aids and appliances for the blind, and outlined benefits and services available for those suffering from blindness.Read More