02- Sep2016
Posted By: Tony Fischer

Signs A Senior You Know May Be Hungry

The senior population is the fastest growing in the United States.  We have posted before on the challenges facing the healthcare system as a result of that growth.  But the challenges in caring for the largest generation of seniors in our countries history go far beyond the obvious infrastructure improvements. Access to Senior Care and basic human needs like food and health care are also at risk.

Also Read>>> Warnings Sign A Senior Is Struggling

Healthcare is addressed in the news media cycle everyday but hardly a mention of hunger.  There is a growing population of seniors who face hunger everyday but the reasons vary.  For some, physical limitations prevent seniors from getting food into the house. For others the challenge is the ability to prepare the food they need each day.  Still there are those who lack the financial resources to buy the food they need to stay healthy.

Malnutrition is a major cause of illness among seniors.  A malnourished senior can become weak and is at increased risk for falls.  Malnutrition can also make seniors more susceptible to dehydration, and flu as well as exacerbating illness like Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis

So how do you know a senior may be going hungry?  Let’s outline some warning signs that should signal the need for help.

Senior Shut In

Everyone knows a senior, who because of age, doesn’t get out of the house much anymore.  What we don’t see is that senior’s inability to get food into the house.  As a result the senior may have just a couple days supply of food which can be quickly depleted if the situation is complicated by weather or illness.

Further, if the senior can only make short trips to a local convenience store the selection and freshness may be limited.  There are options available to seniors who can’t properly shop for food.  Local agencies and home care companies have shopping services for those who need it.

Expired Food In the Fridge

Expired canned and dry goods, perishables like milk and eggs are signs that a senior may be having trouble preparing food.  It could be that the senior has a disease process like dementia or physical limitations that make the process of preparing food extremely difficult.  The layout of the kitchen could also be a factor.  A kitchen that served the senior well 10 years ago may not be as efficient now for a handicapped senior.

There are services offered through local agencies that can provide prepared meals or prepared them for the senior. Check with your cities senior service department for more information.

Extreme Weight Loss

If a senior you know has lost an inordinate amount of weight they could be suffering from hunger.  There are a couple of reasons for weight loss some of those have been outlined above.  But there are other factors. Illness, medications and dehydration can all cause a loss of appetite that can lead to weight loss.

If a senior you know has had an extreme weight loss, contact their primary care physician and schedule and appointment immediately.

If you think a senior you know is struggling with hunger reach out to them.  Ask some questions and help where you can or connect them with a community service organization. 

10- Aug2016
Posted By: Tony Fischer

The Key To Preventing Falls Is Excerise

Falls Are A Leading Cause of Hospitalization Among Seniors

Its not even close.  Falls are by far the largest cause of hospitalization among seniors.  The stats are astounding. According to the CDC, over 700,000 seniors are hospitalized each year because of falls causing head injury and hip fractures.  The estimated cost of these falls is around $34 billion.

As serious of a problem as falls are, they are just as easy to prevent.  It just takes a little planning and energy.

CDC Recommendations to Prevent Falls

The CDC recommends a number of ways to prevent falls.

  • Regular visits to the Doctor to monitor health changes. The Doctor can also check for interactions with your medications to make sure they are not causing balance issues.
  • Checking vision is also a great way to prevent falls.
  • Removing tripping hazards and installing safety rails in your bathroom can also go along way to keeping a senior safe.
  • Exercise is also key to preventing falls.  Weakness and poor balance dramatically increase the risk for falls. Activities like seated aerobics, water aerobics and Tia Chi are all good ways to get the balance training your body needs to keep you from falling.

Most seniors think they are too old for exercise or that it will cost too much, but there are many programs in your area that sponsor senior exercise programs at little to no cost.

Where to Find Low Cost Senior Exercise Programs

Community Center or YMCA – These places usually offer at least one senior exercise program like seated aerobics or water aerobics. Quite often your health insurance company will pick up the cost of these programs. After all, it’s also in your insurance companies best interest to keep you from falling versus the cost of a hospital stay.

Senior Living Communities – Most senior living communities have exercise programs or fitness rooms.

Home Care or Outpatient Therapy – You don’t have to be sick to get a shot of therapy.  Ask your doctor about home care or outpatient therapy.  He can order the treatment anytime and it is usually covered by insurance.  Read Related: Home Care: How Does It Work

Mall Walkers – The local shopping mall is a great way to get exercise all-year round.  In the summer time it is air conditioned and in the winter you don’t have to worry about rain or snow. A lot of seniors mall walk so it is a good way to meet some new friends.

If you have more questions about preventing falls or safety at home, fill-out the form below to connect with one of our Senior Care Sherpas.