Saturday, September 13, 2014

Senior Care Chapel Hill: Adapting Homes to Seniors' Changing Needs

By Helen Antipov

The reason why we love what we do here at Comfort Keepers is that we provide families that are looking at senior care, elder care or Alzheimer's care in Chapel Hill and Durham an option. Because more Americans are choosing to "age in place." That is, they opt to stay in their homes rather than move to alternative retirement settings.

But that often means they must modify their home, so it's not a danger to their safety and health when their physical abilities change.

A new career field has risen to address this need: the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), a program of the National Association of Home Builders. Certified individuals assess homes to identify and recommend modifications to prevent injuries from falls and other risks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one-third of Americans age 65 and over fall each year. The CDC adds that environmental factors lead to about half of all falls that occur at home. In addition to tripping hazards and poor lighting, these factors include a lack of needed modifications, such as bathroom grab bars, handicapped showers, stair railings and ramps. The organization offers a checklist to make sure an older adult's home is as safe as possible.

Home modifications help seniors maintain quality of life. They often prevent injuries that lead to a loss of independence and early admission to an assisted living or long-term care facility.
The following are examples of commonly recommended modifications:

  • Install grab bars for toilets and tubs and install a walk-in tub and/or tub seat
  • Remove unnecessary throw rugs and fasten down rugs or floor runners to prevent slipping
  • Move furniture to create clear walking paths
  • Keep objects off the floor and coil or secure cords to the wall to prevent tripping
  • Replace doorknobs with lever door handles
  • Apply non-slip tape on uncarpeted indoor and outdoor steps
  • Replace standard light switches with rocker-style switches
  • Increase the width of doorways and hallways to accommodate wheelchairs and, where possible, lower sinks and countertops
  • Move often-used items to lower cabinets to avoid the need for step stools
  • Repair or replace loose handrails and install adequate lighting in stairways
  • Install an elevator or chair lift
  • Install an elevated dishwasher or one with drawers for easy access
  • Replace old stoves with induction cook tops to help prevent burns
  • Replace ceramic tile floors with hardwood or vinyl for safe standing

Shedding Light on Home Modification
When modifying a home for a senior, don't forget the importance of good lighting. Seniors need two to three times as much light in order to see as well as younger people.
Good lighting -- in the form of natural light -- provides seniors safety and other advantages:

  • Sunlight provides a good dose of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb more calcium to strengthen teeth and bones. Choose window treatments that let in sunlight, without glare, to enhance the health of seniors, many of who get outside less than they used to.
  • Daylight also improves psychological health. It lessens the energy-zapping effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other forms of depression.

At Comfort Keepers of Durham and Chapel Hill, we understand the stress that caregivers go through. We are here to help you and give you the support you need when dealing with a loved one and in finding senior activities that can make a difference in their daily life. Call us at 919-338-2044 or visit us at onlineWe provide elder care, senior care, in home care, Alzheimer's care and dementia care in Chapel Hill and Durham.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Senior Care and Elder Care in Chapel Hill and Durham: At-Home Care Assists With Senior Mobility

By Helen Antipov

When looking for an at-home care provider (senior care, elder care, alzheimer's care or dementia care), Comfort Keepers® of Chapel Hill and Durham is here to help. According to the International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, mobility is an important factor in the quality of life for the elderly. Even basic mobility, such as the ability to move about one's home, significantly contributes to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of our older loved ones.

Often times, chronic ailments, illnesses and injuries hinder the mobility of the elderly. To help ensure that mobility is regained quickly and maintained to the highest level possible, Comfort Keepers offers many at-home care services to help increase and maintain mobility for seniors. These services include mobility assistance, transferring and positioning and companionship services such as fitness and exercise.

Comfort Keepers' at-home care mobility services include assisting seniors with a range of physical abilities to move about the home, both indoors and outdoors. As many seniors with illnesses or injuries may be reluctant to venture out of a comfort zone, such as a particular room in the house, up or down stairs, or outside the home for fear of falls or an inability to get back home safely, Comfort Keepers alleviates this problem by offering services on a part to full-time basis. At-home care providers assist seniors so that they can move about comfortably and with the peace of mind of knowing that someone is available to offer support in a time of need.

Other services offered by Comfort Keepers at-home care providers include transferring and positioning. For seniors who have limited mobility and must remain in a laying or sitting position, care providers assist with positioning to alleviate pressure off of a particular part of the body, aiding in proper muscle movement, digestion and breathing.

Finally, Comfort Keepers at-home care providers also offer companionship services. This assists in mobility in that care providers take seniors shopping, to the park, on walks around the neighborhood and to any other number of activities. Active seniors tend to have a higher level of physical and emotional well-being than those who are inactive, and with a partner or another person to converse with on a regular basis, seniors are more likely to maintain a mobile routine.

At Comfort Keepers of Durham and Chapel Hill, we understand the stress that caregivers go through. We are here to help you and give you the support you need when dealing with a loved one and in finding senior activities that can make a difference in their daily life. Call us at 919-338-2044 or visit us at online.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Veteran's Benefits in Chapel Hill and Durham: Can they pay for Senior Care

By Helen Antipov

Working with seniors in Chapel Hill and Durham, I often get the question of whether senior care services can be paid for by Veteran's Benefits and there is a way with the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. Veterans and their surviving spouses may qualify for this and it can be used to cover some of the cost of in-home care. A veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran who served at least 90 days on active duty with one day during a period of war may be eligible for the VA’s non-service connected disability pension.
Attorney Doug Keonig talk with me about the process and how to start the paperwork to get considered for this.

At Comfort Keepers of Durham and Chapel Hill, we understand the stress that aging can have on a family especially if you are providing senior care or elder care at home.  We are here to help you and give you the support you need when dealing with a loved one and senior and eldercare issues. Call us at 919-338-2044 or visit us online.