• April 21, 2015 /  Resources

    Big Day of GivingI am on the board serving Seniors First and we participate in the Big DoG (Big Day of Giving) program on May 5, 2015. Please consider giving through this link on May 5th. https://bigdayofgiving.org/#npo/seniors-first-inc

    The Big Day of Giving is a national event but has strong support in the Sacramento and Placer county regions. There are many good organizations that participate but only ONE Seniors First. This is becoming one of our largest funds raisers. Please go to the Seniors First page and see how we support our seniors (they are also listed on my resources page). http://www.seniorsfirst.org/

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  • November 27, 2013 /  Basics

    I found these tips on the Mayo Clinic website. But as a quick aside, Seniors First has a Handyperson program that assess the safety of your home and will install any missing safety features within the parameters of California non-contractor laws. You may call them at 530-889-9500.

    Fall prevention: 6 tips to prevent falls

    Falls put you at risk of serious injury. Prevent falls with these simple fall-prevention measures, from reviewing your medications to hazard-proofing your home.

    By Mayo Clinic staff
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fall-prevention/HQ00657

    Fall prevention may not seem like a lively topic, but it’s important. As you get older, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Still, fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Instead, consider six simple fall-prevention strategies.

    1. Make an appointment with your doctor

    Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your doctor. Be prepared to answer questions such as:

    • What medications are you taking? Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, or bring them with you to the appointment. Your doctor can review your medications for side effects and interactions that may increase your risk of falling. To help with fall prevention, your doctor may consider weaning you off certain medications — such as sedatives and some types of antidepressants.
    • Have you fallen before? Write down the details, including when, where and how you fell. Be prepared to discuss instances when you almost fell but were caught by someone or managed to grab hold of something just in time. Details such as these may help your doctor identify specific fall-prevention strategies.
    • Could your health conditions cause a fall? Certain eye and ear disorders may increase your risk of falls. Be prepared to discuss your health conditions and how comfortable you are when you walk — for example, do you feel any dizziness, joint pain, numbness or shortness of breath when you walk? Your doctor may evaluate your muscle strength, balance and walking style (gait) as well.

    2. Keep moving

    Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. With your doctor’s OK, consider activities such as walking, water workouts or Tai chi — a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements. Such activities reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.

    If you avoid physical activity because you’re afraid it will make a fall more likely, tell your doctor. He or she may recommend carefully monitored exercise programs or refer you to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can create a custom exercise program aimed at improving your balance, flexibility, muscle strength and gait.

    3. Wear sensible shoes

    Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall-prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. So can walking in your stocking feet. Instead:

    • Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes, since foot size can change.
    • Buy properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles.
    • Avoid shoes with extra-thick soles.
    • Choose lace-up shoes instead of slip-ons, and keep the laces tied. If you have trouble tying laces, select footwear with fabric fasteners.
    • If you’re a woman who can’t find wide enough shoes, try men’s shoes.

    4. Remove home hazards

    Take a look around your home. Your living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, hallways and stairways may be filled with hazards. To make your home safer:

    • Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
    • Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas.
    • Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing — or remove loose rugs from your home.
    • Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
    • Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
    • Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food.
    • Use nonskid floor wax.
    • Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.

    5. Light up your living space

    Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see. Also:

    • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
    • Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs.
    • Make clear paths to light switches that aren’t near room entrances. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches.
    • Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
    • Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.

    6. Use assistive devices

    Your doctor might recommend using a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other assistive devices can help,

    too. For example:

    • Hand rails for both sides of stairways
    • Nonslip treads for bare-wood steps
    • A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
    • Grab bars for the shower or tub
    • A sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub — plus a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down

    If necessary, ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. He or she can help you brainstorm other fall-prevention strategies. Some solutions are easily installed and relatively inexpensive. Others may require professional help or a larger investment. If you’re concerned about the cost, remember that an investment in fall prevention is an investment in your independence.

    holding_cane

    I serve the counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba, cities like Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, Placerville, and Woodland.

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  • February 25, 2013 /  Basics

    alzheimer's and the caregiverYour loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. What happens now? Do I give up my life? Do they? This wasn’t part of our plans. This is not fair. This is so overwhelming. I need help!

    You prepare.

    No, neither your social life nor theirs ends with the diagnoses; but you both will need to prepare for the future.

    There are many things that we don’t plan for but there are many blessings and growing opportunities that will come out of the road ahead. It will probably be both rewarding and depressing; but planning now is your key to surviving with your sanity intact.

    Fair? It all depends on how you approach it: hide, run or…plan.

    Ah, my favorite part. Overwhelming. That’s my favorite part! God created us as community beings and that’s how we get through most of the bad stuff in our lives. It makes those good times even better, because we have friends, family…community around us.

    With that thought, I would like to remind you of www.alz.org/norcal as one of those resources that will help you plan and lead you to others who are working through the same or similar issues that you both are facing. They have tons of educational programs in your area and in the Placer/Sacramento County areas. Del Oro, http://www.deloro.org, partners with them on many of the educational programs. Seniors First, http://seniorsfirst.org/, also assists with training, referrals, relief and many other resources.

    Don’t despair, there really is help. But you have to reach out first.

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  • February 12, 2013 /  Basics

    caregiverThere are many issues in caring for someone whether it is your child, parent, spouse or friend. I will be writing a series of brief articles to help you or direct you to resources that can help in your role as caregiver. This article concentrates on you, the caregiver.

    It has been said that the doctor cannot take care of the patient unless s/he takes care of themselves. The same is true for the caregiver. If you are stressed or sick how do you effectively take care of your charge?

    AARP has many resources to help caregiver and suggests the following:

    1. Figure out your priorities
    2. Take time out from caregiving
    3. Ask for help
    4. Spend time with other people
    5. Find some free outlets for your energy

    They have a host of other suggestions and resources that you can find and use at the following web link.

    http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/

    Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center is also a great resource and Seniors First has referred many of its clients to them. You may reach them by calling 800-635-0220 or visiting their website at: http://www.deloro.org

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