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Music is a universal language that is understood by all, but did you know it can also be used clinically and therapeutically for seniors?

Find out how music therapy can help seniors today!

What Are Music Therapists?

Music therapists help individuals “work through their problems in a non-verbal, musical way” (UNH)—which differs from your traditional cognitive behavioral therapy.

During a session, the music therapist may sing or play an instrument and ask the patient to join in.

There are many applications for music therapy—what one music therapist does may be different from another.

Depending on what the needs of the individual are, the therapist will determine which techniques will be best for them.

What Is Music Therapy Used For?

Music therapy has shown to treat things like depression and anxiety, and most importantly, helping seniors deal with memory issues from cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

Music therapy can also help with relieving physical pain related to labor or terminal illness.

How Does Music Therapy Work?

Did you know that music therapy has been proven that it “can affect heart rate and breathing, and promote the release of endorphins, or natural painkillers” (UNH)?

Other symptoms that music therapy alleviates are muscle tension, the release of memories or negative feelings that may have been repressed, and helping to improve communication and physical coordination.

How Music Therapy Affects Alzheimer’s Disease

As one ages, both sexes experience decreases in their sex hormone levels. These attribute to “diminished cognitive function, disturbance of memory, mind and mood, depression, and climacteric disturbance” (NIH). However, sex hormone levels are still lower for those with Alzheimer’s Disease than healthy individuals.

During music therapy sessions, the secretion of sex hormones were significantly increased for participants with Alzheimer’s.

Typically, seniors with Alzheimer’s receive hormone replacement therapies–estrogen in females and androgen in males and females.

Did you know that estrogen is especially important in protecting nerves?

It is also shown to have promising effects to suppress the increase of amyloid beta that are the main cause of plaques forming in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Therefore, estrogen replacement therapy has proved to be effective in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s in females with a deficiency.

Recent studies have shown that “music is closely associated with hormones which govern the emotion and human behavior, especially with steroid hormones including sex hormones” (NIH).

It has been also shown that listening to music has effects on testosterone and cortisol levels.

Experiments done in the NIH study has shown that “listening to music is effective in alleviating and decreasing stress”.

In order to test the hypothesis of whether music therapy was an effective treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease, study participants with the disease were stimulated with music and monitored their sex hormones.

Before and after each session, hormone levels were recorded. Each of the participant’s behavior were also recorded a day before the session, a day of the session, and the day after the session.

Results later showed that music therapy decreased difficult behavior for those with Alzheimer’s disease and increased testosterone levels significantly after stimulus.

Where Can You Find Music Therapists?

Depending on the state that you live in, you may be able to find a music therapy association that can help.

If you live in New Jersey, you can visit the New Jersey Association for Music Therapy (NJAMT) website and inquire about practitioners in your area.

Does Your Loved One Have Alzheimer’s Disease?

Senior Home Care Services has experienced certified aides available on an hourly or live-in basis to assist your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Speak with a member of our nationally accredited care team today through live chat or give us a call at (973) 538-4357! 

The post <strong>How Music Therapy Affects Alzheimer’s Disease</strong> appeared first on .

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Senior Home Care Services Blog by Senior Home Care Services - 1w ago

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s Disease. Lewy bodies are abnormal protein deposits in the brain that interrupt its normal functions. LBD affects an estimated 1.4 million people in the United States. Even the late actor, Robin Williams, was also affected by this form of progressive dementia. He is said to have experienced worsening anxiety attacks, delusions, trouble moving, and muscle rigidity in the last year of his life.

What Are the Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia?

Many of the symptoms in LBD patients are similar to symptoms of those living with Alzheimer’s. Both of these chronic illnesses are progressive dementias—as time passes, symptoms worsen. After Lewy bodies start building up in the brain,  a person’s memory, movement, thinking, mood, and behavior can be affected. They may also experience visual hallucinations. Other symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia include:

  • Parkinson’s-like symptoms, such as hunched posture, balance problems, and stiff muscles
  • Having trouble interpreting visual information
  • Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep disorder that can cause your loved one to act out dreams, sometimes violently
  • Problems with their autonomic nervous system that controls bodily functions not consciously directed like breathing and digestive processes
What Are the Differences Between Alzheimer’s and LBD?

It may be difficult determining if someone has Alzheimer’s or LBD because of their similar symptoms. Lewy bodies exist side by side with brain changes made by Alzheimer’s disease, but there are some key differences in the two diseases:

  • Memory loss is more prominent in early Alzheimer’s than in early LBD
  • Having trouble with movement is more likely in early LBD than Alzheimer’s
  • Hallucinations are significantly more frequent in early LBD than Alzheimer’s
  • REM sleep disorder is more common in early LBD than Alzheimer’s
  • Problems with autonomic nervous system occur commonly in early LBD than Alzheimer’s

It’s essential for your loved one to have the proper diagnosis for their condition. LBD can cause your loved one to be extremely sensitive to certain medications while being safe for someone who has Alzheimer’s.

What Are the Treatment Options for LBD?

Unfortunately, like Alzheimer’s and other progressive dementias, LBD has no cure. There are treatments that can help manage symptoms of LBD. Drugs used for Parkinson’s disease like Levodopa can improve movement problems or stiff muscles in your loved one. A doctor may prescribe Clonazepam to help your loved one with their REM sleep disorder. Physical therapy can also help improve posture and balance for those with LBD. For those who are suffering from depression or anxiety, psychotherapy is recommended.

How a Caregiver Can Help Your Loved One with LBD

Things like bathing, grooming, and toileting can become difficult for your loved one if they have LBD. A professional caregiver with experience in helping dementia patients can provide the necessary personal care they need. Caring for a senior with LBD can be difficult and stressful to do on your own.

Find Experienced Dementia Caregivers in New Jersey

Let our nationally accredited care team help get your loved one the help they need. Give us a call today at (973) 538-4357.

The post <strong>What Is Lewy Body Dementia?</strong> appeared first on .

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Looking for something to brighten up your day? You’re going to want to see these videos of seniors!

1. When Your Grandparents Dance Like MJ

Billie Jean Dancing Senior Citizens - YouTube

After all, dancing is a great aerobic exercise to get seniors back in shape!

2. Grandparents Can Still Swing

Old Couple Dancing - YouTube

Look at this couple swing!

3. Celebrating Their 60th Anniversary with Style

Pixar's “UP” in Real Life: 80-Year-Old Grandparents Celebrate Anniversary with Adorable Piano Duet - YouTube

If you’re a fan of the Pixar movie “Up”, this one might tug at your heartstrings. These two seniors have been playing piano together for years and their grandson brought them together to play for their 60th anniversary.

4. Seniors Talking About Love

Seniors Talking About Love - YouTube

Do you have a box of tissues ready? You’re going to need some while watching this.

5. Best Friends for Over 90 Years

100 Year Old BFFs - YouTube

You thought you had a best friend? Well, these ladies have been friends for over 90 years.

6. Grandpa With Alzheimer’s Still Remembers Songs By Heart

Quando Quando Quando | The Songaminute Man | Carpool Karaoke - YouTube

Listen to him sing! Did you know that he’s even scored a record deal?

7. There’s a First Time for Everything

Hilarious! Daredevil Grandma rides roller coaster for the first time - YouTube

She might be 78 years old but still knows how to have fun!

8. This Grandma’s Got Soul include but at end

I Need Your Love So Bad -- My Grandmother Playing the Guitar - YouTube

B.B. King? More like B.B. Queen. Just listen to those soulful guitar licks!

Love These Videos?

Share them with your friends and family! Which one was your favorite?

The post <strong>8 Videos of Seniors That Will Brighten Up Your Day</strong> appeared first on .

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Anxiety can be crippling and impact all aspects of a senior’s life. Identifying and diagnosing anxiety in seniors is often difficult and can cause it to go undiagnosed. Many people associate excessive worrying with the normal aging process, when in fact it can have serious consequences.

Dr. Eric J. Lenze at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has said, “Surprisingly, there is little research that has been done on [generalized anxiety disorder] in the elderly…Due to the lack of evidence, doctors often think that this disorder is rare in the elderly or that it is a normal part of aging, so they don’t diagnose or treat anxiety in their older patients, when, in fact, anxiety is quite common in the elderly and can have a serious impact on quality of life.”

The best estimates believe that 10% of seniors aged 65 years and older have a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

Learn about how to recognize anxiety in a senior and what you can do for seniors with anxiety by reading on!

What is General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

90% of late-life anxiety is accounted for by GAD. GAD is defined by the excessive worrying over routine events and activities for a period of 6 months or longer. It is also the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder.  When a senior has GAD, their quality of life may deteriorate. This anxiety disorder affects twice as many women than men. Lookout for these common signs and symptoms of GAD:

  • Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that are out of proportion to the impact of the event
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
  • Worrying about excessively worrying
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty

There are also physical symptoms of GAD you should be aware of:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Trembling, feeling twitchy
  • Being easily startled
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches

Developing anxiety during old age is twice as common as dementia among seniors.

The cause of GAD is unknown, but researchers believe that genetics are a factor. Contributing factors to the disease are the use of alcohol, caffeine, and even certain prescription medications. The good news is there are proven treatment options for GAD.

Addressing Mental Health Issues in Seniors

Research shows that the stigma associated with mental health issues in seniors are a significant barrier when it comes to finding treatment. The study also found that “depressed older adult participants endorsed a high level of public stigma and were not likely to be currently engaged in, nor did they intend to seek mental health treatment.” Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. Here are some tips that may be helpful in discussing treatment for anxiety with your loved one:

  • Make seniors feel comfortable when talking about your concern with seeking help for their GAD. Mental health issues should not be a subject of shame.
  • Ask the senior which primary care physician they would like to discuss their anxiety disorder with or if they want help in finding a mental health specialist.
  • Have reasonable goals in mind for your conversation with the senior.
  • What expectations do you have after discussing treatment options with the senior?
  • Be patient with yourself and the senior.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Your Loved One

If a senior’s anxiety is debilitating, it’s time to talk to their doctor. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered one of the most helpful therapeutic methods for treating GAD. CBT helps patients identify, understand, and change their thinking and behavioral patterns. Studies show CBT can bring long lasting improvement to GAD sufferers, for periods as long as two years after therapy. If the senior is in good health, they will be able to follow up with their weekly assignments and apply the strategies learned in sessions with a licensed psychotherapist.

Medication Versus Therapy for GAD  

Is there a “magic pill” that can cure seniors of their anxiety disorder? Learning coping mechanisms during therapy sessions can significantly reduce the risk of the disorder recurring in the future. “Mostly drug” therapy can be effective treatment for patients since they often have a quicker impact on symptoms than therapy, but research shows that a combination of medication and therapy yields the best results.  In one study, patients who mostly received therapy for at least 13 sessions had better results than those whose therapy consisted of “mostly medication.” The most successful patients of all were those who received a balance of drug and talk therapies. They had the advantage of quick improvement with the drugs, followed by steady continuing improvement from the talk.

If a senior is seeking help with GAD, their doctor can provide them with the most effective treatment plan. Here are some important questions that you can ask your loved one’s doctor:

  • What’s your understanding of this problem?
  • What kind of treatments would you recommend and why?
  • How long will it take to experience some relief of symptoms?
  • How long will I need to stay on medication and/or continue with therapy to get the maximum benefit?
Treating GAD with Medication

There are two types of medication prescribed to someone with GAD: anti-anxiety medications and antidepressant medications.

  • Anti-AnxietyAnti-anxiety medications are effective for short term relief. Medications like Clonazepam or Xanax can be powerful with fast acting effects, but are usually not recommended for long term use. Anti-anxiety medications should be taken with caution—if a patient suddenly stops taking their medication, the body can have withdrawal symptoms like high blood pressure, shaking, and increased anxiety. Patients may develop a physical dependence on these types of drugs, though taking them exactly as prescribed can reduce the risk of addiction.
  • Antidepressants—Contrary to fast acting anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants can take weeks to have any effect on your loved one’s mood. While some side effects like headache, nausea, or difficulty sleeping may be present, if dosages start off low, it can be safe and effective for your loved one. It’s important to monitor your loved one closely during the early stages of treatment with an antidepressant. Antidepressants are shown to be effective for long term treatment and most doctors recommend at least a full year of use.

It is important to know the senior’s complete medical history and any medications that they are currently taking to help their doctor decide if there will be any adverse side effects.

Did You Know That Social Isolation and Loneliness Are Associated with Increased Mortality?

Studies show “people who live alone or lack social contacts may be at increased risk of death if acute symptoms develop, because there is less of a network of confidantes to prompt medical attention.” Suffering from GAD may cause seniors to withdraw from activities they once loved and shy away from socialization and interaction and can contribute to a decline in cognitive performance and an increased risk of dementia.

Does Your Loved One Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Our caregivers are companionship professionals and provide exercise assistance to get seniors with generalized anxiety disorder the help they need.

Call us today (973) 538-4357 to learn more about our services!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Sources:

WebMD

Today’s Geriatric Medicine

NIH

University of Michigan Depression Center

CNN

PNAS

The post <strong>Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder and How it Affects Seniors</strong> appeared first on .

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Monitoring the cardiovascular health of a senior is essential for staying ahead of heart diseases. The American Heart Association considers blood pressure screenings to be one of the most important screenings.

A blood pressure screening is the only way to diagnose if a senior has high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is a major factor in adverse health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Early detection can make a difference in the effective treatment of the condition.

Startling Senior Statistics about High Blood Pressure

Seniors have more of a reason to get regular blood pressure screenings:

  • 62% of men and 68% of women have high blood pressure in the 65 to 74 year old age group
  • 76% of men and 80% of women have high blood pressure in the 75+ year old age group
  • High blood pressure puts seniors at risk for heart disease and stroke which are the leading causes of death in the United States
  • High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 410,000 adults in the United States in 2014
  • 1 in every 3 adults have high blood pressure
  • 1 in 5 adults have high blood pressure but are not aware of it
Blood Pressure Categories

What does systolic blood pressure (upper number) mean?

This number indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your heart’s artery walls as it beats.

What does diastolic blood pressure (lower number) mean?

This number indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while your heart is resting between beats.

During a blood pressure screening, seniors can fall into one of several categories depending on what their results are:

What does each blood pressure category mean?

Normal Blood Pressure

Seniors can maintain a normal blood pressure by keeping up with healthy habits like having a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

Prehypertension

Seniors with prehypertension are likely to develop high blood pressure unless proper steps are taken to control it.

Hypertension Stage 1

Doctors are likely to prescribe lifestyle changes and may consider adding blood pressure medication.

Hypertension Stage 2

Doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications along with lifestyle changes.

Hypertensive Crisis

Emergency medical attention is required at this stage. Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness, fatigue, changes in vision, and/or difficulty speaking.

There are also several risk factors that can contribute to a senior’s blood pressure:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Family History
  • Obesity or Overweight
  • Tobacco Use
  • Alcohol Use
  • Too Much Sodium
  • Too Little Potassium
  • Too Little Vitamin D
  • Stress
How Can Seniors Manage Their Blood Pressure Without Medication?

While seniors should always consult a medical professional before making any lifestyle changes, there are several things they can do without medication for treating high blood pressure:

  • Eating more servings of fruit and vegetables
  • Choosing low fat dairy products
  • Cutting back on salt
  • Avoiding sugary drinks and beverages
  • Engaging in a physical activity such as brisk walking for 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Losing even a couple of pounds if overweight can help
Attend Our Upcoming Free Blood Pressure Screening Event

Our Registered Nurse, Andrea Coriddi, will be at the Chatham Senior Center to provide seniors with free blood pressure screenings:

July 20, 2017 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Chatham Senior Center 58 Meyersville Rd, Chatham Township, NJ 07928

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

The post <strong>Why Seniors Should Get Regular Blood Pressure Screenings</strong> appeared first on .

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Senior Home Care Services Blog by Senior Home Care Services - 1w ago

June, 2017

Caregiver of the Month!

Jouseline is a reliable and excellent caregiver who has earned her recognition as CHHA of the month. Currently, she is successful in managing a client who suffers with dementia and is combative. Her patience and compassion help her navigate through “the tough days” is inspiring to us all.

Jouseline G.

Thank you John for being such a wonderful caregiver for your client!

The post <strong>June Caregiver of the Month</strong> appeared first on .

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Does traveling with a senior seem so daunting that you keep putting it off?

We understand. After all, traveling takes a toll on even the most seasoned veterans of vacationing.

Navigating through airport security or logging hundreds of miles in a lengthy road trip is exhausting for anybody and everybody!

However, that doesn’t mean seniors should be excluded from experiencing new destinations and visiting relatives or friends.

Keep reading on to see our tips for traveling with seniors!

1) Refill Prescription Medication

It’s essential when you’re planning on traveling with a senior that they have a sufficient supply of any prescription medications they’re currently taking.

As a rule of thumb, you want to pack enough medication for the entire duration of the trip plus two to three days of extra medication in the event of travel delays or other unforeseen circumstances.

In addition to prescription medications, be ready for other traveling related discomforts like motion sickness, or constipation, as seniors are more susceptible to these when their routines change. However, you should always be mindful of possible adverse interactions between the different medications and first consult with your loved one’s doctor.

2) Reserve Special Services for Your Loved One

Older adults that are disabled or have limited mobility can receive certain special services or accommodations as required by law. Often these special services include having an attendant at the airport assist your loved one with a wheelchair.

Some airlines will allow you to select these special services during the booking phase of your flight. Other airlines you will need to call and request these.

Policies and procedures will vary from airline to airline so find out ahead of time.

It’s also important that you confirm requests for special services you make at the time of reservation as travel providers do not have any obligation to make them available to your loved one while checking in or while en route to the destination.

3) Nonstop Trips Work Best

Seniors don’t have the same energy they used to when they were younger. Booking a nonstop flight, train, bus, etc. will work best. Having to stop multiple times throughout a trip extends travel time and ultimately will leave your loved one more fatigued.

Again, this is where planning ahead will benefit any traveler looking to vacation with their older adult loved one!

4) Plan Senior Friendly Activities

Depending on your loved one’s mobility and their activity level, you may have to stop frequently for them to rest.

Consider finding a suitable place to grab lunch or dinner and for your loved one to relax.

If traveling in the summer heat, please be aware that seniors are more susceptible to experiencing heat stroke so make sure to avoid long stretches of time outside in the heat.

5) Consider Tours and Cruises

Seniors with limited mobility can receive a very fulfilling travel experience through tours and cruises. There is usually less effort required as tour and cruise operators can offer fully planned activities especially for older adults that may have disabilities.

You can find a list of senior friendly cruises here.

6) Prepare Necessary Documentation

Before you and your loved one travel, preparing necessary documentation is a must!

Traveling abroad means passports are required so be sure to get those made well in advance.

Having a medication list on hand and statements of medical conditions from your loved one’s physician can be helpful in emergency situations should they arise.

Keep several copies of travel itineraries and boarding passes on hand in case you misplace any of them.

It’s important to keep any of the necessary documentation needed for travel in an easy to reach location such as carry on luggage for quick access.

7) Travel Insurance for Medical Emergencies

Planning for the unexpected when traveling with seniors can make a difference when emergency strikes.

One way of preparing for medical emergencies are to take out traveler’s insurance for your loved one.  Make sure to read carefully what is and is not included in the insurance!

While traveler’s insurance for seniors might not be something you were budgeting for, you should definitely consider it depending on your loved one’s health condition, the types of activities you have planned, and the length of their stay away from home.

Not only will purchasing a travel insurance policy help cover for unexpected medical expenses, it may also cover a trip cancellation due to a medical emergency or the senior not being medically fit to fly (as documented by a doctor).

What are some tips you have for traveling with your loved one?

Let us know in the comments below!

The post <strong>7 Tips for Traveling with Seniors</strong> appeared first on .

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Are you prepared when a senior is unexpectedly hospitalized?

Some of the most common reasons seniors go into the hospital are due to unplanned health emergencies: urinary tract infections, stroke, hip fracture, and pneumonia.

Learn what things you should do before a senior has a health scare today!

1. Have Their Medication List Ready

What over-the-counter and prescription medications do they need every day?

Keep a physical list of their medications with information like the name of the medication, the dosage, and its purpose.

You may also want to note what the instructions are for consumption.

If you prefer to keep digital records, apps like Medisafe can help you create medication lists easily on your smartphone.

Medisafe’s database has most over-the-counter and prescription medication readily available for search, allowing you to keep track of everything a senior takes.

It also allows for medication reminders that can help a senior or their caregiver stay up to date.

A great feature from Medisafe is to be able to visually see your virtual pillbox so seniors can see when they need to take their medication.

2. List Their Medical Specialists

Do they see a medical specialist?

Keep a record of their contact information, address, and their specialty.

You can see a full list of medical specialists provided by James Madison University and what they do here.

Knowing the names and contact information of their medical specialists can ensure they get the proper medical treatment as soon as possible.

3. Know Their Medical History

If you’re in charge of managing the senior’s care, it’s essential to know their medical history.

The National Institute of Health says it’s important to know their family history because:

  • Families have many factors in common, including their genes, environment, and lifestyle. Together, these factors can give clues to medical conditions that may run in a family. By noticing patterns of disorders among relatives, healthcare professionals can determine whether an individual, other family members, or future generations may be at an increased risk of developing a particular condition.

By knowing their medical history, they can receive much needed care more quickly and effectively.

This online tool from the Surgeon General lets you easily document their family medical history.

4. Preparing for a Safe Transition Back Home

The transition back home after a hospitalization is often more challenging than families anticipate.

You should start planning for their love one’s discharge on the same day they are admitted into the hospital.

Elder Care Locator says that it’s common for seniors to struggle with things like taking medications on time and following up with doctor’s appointments after a recent hospitalization.

Here are some questions that you should be thinking about:

  • What will the senior’s living arrangements be when they are discharged??
    • Will they return to their own home?
    • A family member’s home?
    • A rehab facility?
  • Will the senior need help getting to doctor appointments?
    • What about to the pharmacy or grocery store?
  • Will the senior need help with activities of daily living?
    • Will they need assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, or meal preparation?
    • Are they going to get help from a family member or home health aide?
  • How long will the senior need help for?

For more resources on a smooth transition home after a hospitalization, visit Next Step in Care.

This program funded by the United Hospital Fund helps family members and health care providers plan and implement safe transitions for chronically or seriously ill patients.

5. Other Things Seniors Should Have

Hospital visits and health emergencies for seniors are scary.

Here is a list of things that seniors can have in their “hospital kit”:

  • Insurance information and identification card
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Test reports, lab results, copies of recent x-rays
  • Allergy information
  • Important legal documents for seniors like power of attorney and advanced directives
  • Bring glasses, dentures, hearing aids, etc.

Seniors should also not have any valuable items with them while at the hospital!

Does Your Client Need Help Transitioning Safely Back Home?

Senior Home Care Services can help your client safely transition back home after rehab. Call our nationally accredited care team today (973) 538-4357!

The post <strong>5 Things You Should Do Before a Senior Has a Health Scare</strong> appeared first on .

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Spring is finally here and that means warmer weather is on the way!

Seniors can benefit from a variety of different outdoor activities in New Jersey.

Even low mobility seniors can take advantage of the gorgeous spring weather.

Why Seniors Should Go Outdoors

Did you know that almost 30% of seniors live alone according to the 2010 U.S. Census?

Loneliness and boredom are proven to negatively affect older adults as they age.

Many studies have shown that it is a major risk factor for depressive symptoms.

Encouraging seniors to go outside can provide both much needed physical activity and rejuvenate their spirits.

Now what should they do outside? Keep reading for a complete list of the best spring outdoor activities.

Visit New Jersey’s Historic Sites

Luckily many of these sites are easily accessible to those with limited mobility.

1. Palisades Interstate Park

Fort Lee was the start of George Washington’s Retreat when British troops invaded New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. The park offers guided tours and educational programs. Seniors can also relax in the many picnic areas and take in the breathtaking sight of the George Washington Bridge.

201-461-1776

Palisades Interstate Park, Hudson Terrace, Fort Lee, NJ 07024

http://www.njpalisades.org/fortlee.html

2. Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey

Seniors that are interested in aviation will find this museum located in Bergen County to be fascinating. Visitors have the opportunity to see aircraft from all eras of history such as World War II, The Korean War, and The Vietnam War. Reduced admission is available to seniors.

201-288-6344

400 Fred Wehran Drive

Teterboro , New Jersey 07608

http://www.njahof.org/

3. Museum of American Glass

Seniors that are interested in the arts can visit this one of a kind glass museum located in Millville. The exhibit has over 20,000 pieces dating from 1739 to contemporary art glass. Fun fact: The museum has the most comprehensive exhibit of American glass in the world!

856-825-6800

1000 Village Dr., Millville, NJ 08332

http://www.wheatonarts.org/programs/12025-2/

4. Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

Focusing on 18th and 19th century craftsmen and artisans, the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, NJ portrays their lives and stories while providing a bridge from the past to the future. Seniors are offered a reduced admission rate.

973-377-2982

9 Main St., Madison, NJ 07940

http://www.metc.org/

5. Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead Museum

This museum located in Hunterdon County is dedicated to preserving its rural heritage from the 18th century to the 20th century. The restored property exhibits a general store, post office, blacksmith shop, carriage shed, print shop, and more facets of rural life in New Jersey. Seniors can learn how crops were managed along with the production of food from cows, pigs, and poultry.

609-397-2752

1605 Daniel Bray Hwy. (Rt. 29), Lambertville, NJ 08530

http://www.holcombe-jimison.org/

You can visit the official state website for historical attractions and see the complete list by clicking here. Wheelchair Accessible Trails

New Jersey has many wheelchair accessible trails so everyone has the opportunity to get some Vitamin D to promote healthy bones and skin!

TrailLink has a complete map of wheelchair accessible trails if you would like to visit one near your location. You can visit their website here.

See below for a list of trails located in Morris County:

1. Loantaka Brook Reservation Trail

Located right in the historic area of Morristown, the Loantaka Brook Reservation Trail has a total trail length of 7 miles. Seniors can also relax at the many picnic areas with fully accessible exercise stations.

468 South St, Morristown, NJ 07962

2. Boulevard Trolley Line Path

Located right off the Boulevard in Mountain Lakes, NJ, this paved path is a great path for seniors that is only around 2 miles in length. Not only can seniors get some exercise, they’ll be able to take a look at the Colonial, Georgian, and Spanish-style homes that stretch along the Boulevard.

3. Wharton Rail-Trail

Only a half mile in length, this paved path with two covered bridges in Wharton, NJ is a short loop for seniors to enjoy. You can also extend the length of your walk as this path connects with the Patriots’ Path in Rockaway Township.

4. Randolph Trail

The Randolph Trail extends across five different parks and has a total trail length of 16 miles! It is mostly a gravel trail that may be tough for some seniors, but still accessible by wheelchair.

Parking Information from TrailLink: ((Why parking info? Also some of these not listed ?)

Hidden Valley, Everdale Road, 0.25 mile south of Millbrook Avenue.
Town Hall, on Millbrook Avenue opposite Randolph High School. Parking is available in the southern-most lot adjacent to Millbrook Avenue.
Freedom Park, on Millbrook Avenue. Parking areas can be found on both sides of Millbrook.
Brundage Park, on Carrell Road. Parking areas can be found in several locations.
Heistein Park, on Doby Road off of Dover-Chester Road. Parking areas are found at Heistein’s Pond, just below the park, on Doby Rd.
Combs Hollow; a small parking area is at the intersection of Combs Hollow and Doby Road. This is a Patriots’ Path connection.
Clyde Potts, about 0.5 mile south of Sussex Turnpike on Old Brookside Road. Parking is available. This is a Patriots’ Path connection.

Senior Citizen Day Trips

Another easy option for seniors looking to get out and about in New Jersey is to join senior centers or communities on their day outings. Some of these day trips include a visit to Atlantic City and other attractions in the tri-state area.

1. Senior Citizens United Community Services

Located in South Jersey, Senior Citizens United Community Services offer year-round day trips, overnight trips, and cruises for seniors. All packages come with transportation included and a trained escort. All funds from the trips go towards other organizational programs for seniors. Pickup locations include Berlin, Cherry Hill, Route 295, and Deptford.

(856) 456-1121

537 Nicholson Road

Audubon, NJ 08106

http://scucs.org/services/travel-tours/

2. Randolph Senior Citizens Club

The senior citizens club in Randolph, NJ provide day trips throughout the month. Destinations include local landmarks, places of interest, shopping centers, and events. Seniors are also not required to be a member of the club in order to attend.

30 Calais Rd., Randolph, NJ 07869

973-989-7084

3. East Hanover Senior Citizens Club

Join the East Hanover Senior Citizens Club for their monthly trips to Atlantic City! It costs $25 per trip for bus fees. If space allows, both members and non-members over the age of 60 are welcomed to join.

33 Lincoln St., East Hanover, NJ 07936

973-428-3060

4. Plainsboro Senior Citizen Bus Trips

Plainsboro residents that are ages 55 and older are eligible to join the Plainsboro Senior Citizens Club for day trips around the New York City area. Bus trip fees often include the cost of transportation and meals. Some attractions include going to casinos in Atlantic City, New York Botanical Garden, and other cultural attractions in the area.

641 Plainsboro Rd., Plainsboro, NJ 08536

1-888-358-9880

What Are Your Favorite Outdoor Activities for New Jersey Seniors?

Do you have anything else to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!

The post <strong>Best Spring Outdoor Activities for New Jersey Seniors</strong> appeared first on .

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy, can have a significant impact on combating anxiety, depression, insomnia, and several other mental health disorders. CBT offers an alternative to seniors that may be concerned about interactions with other medications. Learn how your loved one can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy today!

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is a form of psychotherapy designed to help individuals positively change their behaviors. During sessions, a licensed psychotherapist works with your loved one to identify the problems they face and determine the actions they can take to solve them. A therapist can also help your loved one become more self-aware and allow them to take control of their thoughts when distressed. CBT can lead to sustainable improvements to your loved one’s mental health over the course of several weeks and months. Learning coping mechanisms during therapy sessions can significantly reduce the risk of depression or anxiety returning in the future.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

Seniors are more at risk for developing depression if they already have another chronic illness. Almost 30% of seniors lived alone according to the 2010 U.S. Census. While living alone doesn’t necessarily lead to social isolation, it’s still a common factor in many depressed older adults. PNAS suggests in their report that both loneliness and social isolation increased mortality rates in those 52 years and older. Difficult transitions in your loved one’s life like the loss of their significant other or close friend can cause depression. They may also be experiencing changes in their health. Here are the symptoms of depression that you should be aware of:

  • Feeling of worthlessness
  • No interest in former hobbies
  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Changes in sleep schedule
  • Fatigue
  • Engaging in reckless behavior
  • Problems with focusing, making decisions, and remembering things

For more information on depression, you can visit the Depression Health Center on WebMD by clicking here.

Using CBT for Depression

In trial studies, CBT has been found to be vastly superior to other forms of therapy in those age 50 years and older. Your loved one and their therapist work together to change unhealthy thinking patterns. CBT helps depressed individuals identify specific problems and address them directly. Patients are encouraged to actively work on what they learn outside of their sessions, may even be given homework. If your loved one suffers from mild to moderate depression, they may reap the benefits of CBT without the use of medication. Studies show that in cases of mild to moderate depression, CBT may be as effective as medication. They suggest that patients may still have lingering symptoms even after taking medication. CBT is effective in reducing relapses in depressed patients that may occur even after going through other forms of treatments.

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Anxiety shares some similarities with depression as its symptoms can overlap with each other. In most cases, they go hand in hand. Almost 50% of patients with depression also experience high levels of anxiety. Here are symptoms that you should be on the lookout for in your loved one:

  • Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that are out of proportion to the impact of the event
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
  • Worrying about excessively worrying
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty

For more information on how you can help your loved one with anxiety, you can read our complete guide here.

Using CBT for Anxiety

CBT is one of the most effective and widely used methods of treating anxiety. It not only helps treat the symptoms of anxiety, but also identifies and addresses the underlying causes of a person’s worries. Based on your loved one’s symptoms, a specific therapy program is crafted for them. Similar to treating depression, a therapist using CBT to help with anxiety works with your loved one to change how they view certain situations and environments. For example, if your loved one doesn’t feel comfortable in large social settings, a therapist can help recognize the triggers that cause them to feel anxious. They may suggest deep breathing techniques or other effective coping skills for anxiety. Here are some techniques that you and your loved one can use right away to help with anxiety:

  • Taking a timeout can help your loved one clear their head. They can listen to music, read, or do other things to help calm them.
  • Make sure they eat! Skipping meals or having an unbalanced diet may worsen anxiety symptoms.
  • Staying active helps your loved one fight off anxiety along with other health problems.
  • Making your loved one laugh and having a good sense of humor can lower anxiety levels.
  • Reducing alcohol intake can help reduce anxiety.
When Should Your Loved One See a Doctor?

Depression and anxiety can severely impact your loved one’s quality of life if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. If you notice behavior changes like  avoiding social situations or not doing things they once loved, it may be time for them to see a doctor. For seniors, there is  often a stigma associated with mental health issues, making it difficult to bring up the discussion of therapy or other treatments. Be patient, make them feel at ease, and make them part of the decision.

The post <strong>How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Seniors with Depression and Anxiety</strong> appeared first on .

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