Senior Moments

Food Insecurity Among Seniors

Posted by on Apr 23, 2020 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Food Insecurity Among Seniors

Food Insecurity Among Seniors

“Nearly one in every six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and not being properly nourished. This applies to those who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and those who don’t have access to the healthiest possible food options.” These are the opening sentences of the April 2020 article from the Aging in Place website. (Note that these statistics published in 2019 actually reflect the numbers from 2017.)

https://www.aginginplace.org/the-facts-behind-senior-hunger/

The article goes on to say that senior hunger issues lead to $130B in resulting healthcare expenses to treat conditions that might be prevented with proper nutrition and food abundance.

During this COVID-19 pandemic we are learning new skills to cope with everyday challenges. Food purveyors are looking for new and better ways to meet their customers’ needs. For some, online shopping and pick up seem like just the latest gadget. It’s been embraced mostly by young working mothers who want to save the time they would have spent shopping. For seniors who may have transportation or mobility issues, these services are a helpful way to assure that their cupboards do not go bare. If your parents are in need of the service discuss it with them. If they could be served by Meals on Wheels, help them make the call and complete the application process.

Unfortunately, food Insecurity is not just a senior issue, especially now. Today I saw that a food bank in San Antonio had a line of 10,000 cars waiting for donations. They expect more tomorrow. In fact, cars were already in line at 9pm. No doubt there were seniors in that line. Previous statistics have been shattered by our current pandemic and unemployment problem.

In April, Golden Bridges typically starts our food drive in conjunction with the National Association of Senior Move Managers. We team up with the non-profit MOVE FOR HUNGER organization who collect and distribute non- perishable food items for donation to local food pantries across the United States and Canada. https://moveforhunger.org/

For us that means making plans to march in the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce annual Dogwood Parade. Due to the standing orders to #stayhome the parade has been postponed to October. There may not be dogwoods in bloom, but you can be assured we will be pushing those grocery carts and collecting your contributions for Quincy’s pantries. Or, if you are moved to make a more timely donation, contact Horizons, GPS Ministries, Catholic Charities, Meals on Wheels and the United Way to learn how you can make a difference today.

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Collecting Dust

Posted by on Mar 26, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Collecting Dust

Collecting Dust

We Americans love our collections. Ask most anyone you know and they will admit to collecting something, either now or at some point in the past. According to Google, these are the ten most popular:

Comic Books. …

Coins and Currency. …

Classic Cars. …

Trading Cards. …

Dolls and Toys. …

Stamps. …

Wine. …

Fine Art and Jewelry. Fine art and jewelry are lumped together because they are both highly personal collectibles.

And if you find those dull and ordinary, here are some of the most exotic collections:

Toenail clippings

Belly button fluff

ABC gumball

Daleks (yes, I had to look it up too)

Airline barf bags

‘Do Not Disturb’ hotel signs

There’s even one man who collects autographs. Not so unusual you say? It is if you ask celebrities to write your name! Paul Schmelzer has done it over 70 times.

You really must read the article to learn how they justify these collections! CLICK HERE to read. 

Some people choose to invest by collecting items that will increase in value. Of those, the best is fine art followed by rare coins, jewelry and gems, and thoroughbred horses. But face it – most of us are not in that league.

We once did a downsizing presentation for a small audience in Macomb. When we asked them what would be the hardest to let go we got one of the most common answers: dishes. Assuming the attendee meant fine china, I asked why it was so special. Before she could speak, the friend sitting next to her said that it was because she had been collecting them for so long. She added that her friend was especially proud of the fact that she had twelve matching salad bowls… (drumroll please)… 16oz Cool Whip containers.

For those of you who thought your collection of Thomas Kinkade, Roseville Pottery, or Coca-Cola memorabilia would take care of you in retirement, here is a link that will surely disappoint.

So what do you have in multiple quantities collecting dust? If you are ready to downsize – and ready to get rid of it, who ya gonna call? Golden Bridges!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

 

Seniors and Pets

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Seniors and Pets

Seniors and Pets

Up front, I am not a pet owner. Sure, I had pets when I was a kid. My kids had pets growing up. But when I no longer had my children living with me I was relieved to leave pet ownership behind. So, when it came time to write this month’s blog, I was not really excited.

I started my research with the premise that pets aren’t for every senior. I googled the topic why not to have a pet in your senior years. Of course, what I found was that most articles suggest it is a good idea.

However, there were some caveats. AgingInPlace.org had this to say.

“For those seniors who want a dog, there are many reasons to be wary of jumping into pet adoption too quickly. The lack of mobility and inability to drive to and from the vet, groomer, or pet store worries them. The initial costs are usually high. They also worry that if and when there comes a point when they can no longer care for the dog, that the dog might be taken to a shelter and eventually euthanized. Many seniors feel like their worsening health condition is a burden, and a pet might possibly add to that.”

But, they also listed six good reasons for seniors to care for pets. Some of the obvious:

  • Companionship
  • Exercise
  • Calmness
  • Purpose
  • Security
  • Socialization

While most of these truly are no brainers, they are good reasons for a senior to become a pet owner even if for the first time. CLICK HERE for more information. 

That is not to say that all of the research was positive. This article at mercola.com lists some of the potential hazards of pet ownership, especially for seniors in poor health caring for aging pets.

“Caring for an aging animal can take an emotional toll; in one survey of pet owners, there was greater burden, stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as poorer quality of life, in owners of pets with chronic or terminal disease.”

Now, let’s look at the practical issues of pet ownership. If or when a senior needs to move to a location with a higher level of care, it is not always possible to take their pet. But, according to nextavenue.org, 75% of for-profit senior living facilities do allow pet owners to bring their pet with them. CLICK HERE to read more on finding pet friendly retirement communities. 

Here are some things to keep in mind if you choose to take your pet along for the move.

  • Is there enough room?
  • What types of pets are allowed?
  • Are veterinary services available?
  • Is there a pet deposit, or monthly fees associated with pet ownership?

In the long run, to have or have not is always up to you. Weigh the benefits as well as the costs, and make the right decision for you and your lifestyle. And if you decide that it is right for you, after55.com recommends the following… small dog breeds for seniors include:

Shih Tzu

Pug

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Boston Terrier

Miniature Schnauzer

Poodle

Maltese

Bolognese

Yorkshire Terrier

Pekingese

As always, your local humane society or animal shelter is happy to help!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Caregiver

Posted by on Nov 20, 2019 in Senior Move Managers | Comments Off on Caregiver

Caregiver

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “the “typical” U.S. caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends more than 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother. Most caregivers are married or living with a partner.”

Chances are that many of you reading this blog are in that or a similar situation. With the 65+ age group expected to double to 70 million people by 2030, the numbers  of these family caregivers will naturally increase proportionally. Caregivers, particularly family members, are at increased risk for health problems and burnout.

There are a number of things you can do to take care of yourself, stay healthy, and prevent burnout, including:

  • Ask others for help. …
  • Get support. …
  • Be honest with yourself. …
  • Talk to other caregivers. …
  • Take regular breaks. …
  • Attend social activities. …
  • Pay attention to your feelings and needs. …
  • Take care of your health.

The healthcare community –  providers, payers, and health insurance companies – are aware of these statistics and poised to help. 

Those who are caring for a family member who is a veteran or receiving Medicaid are in the best position for assistance. This article outlines how caregivers can be financially compensated.

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/info-2017/you-can-get-paid-as-a-family-caregiver.html

VITAS Healthcare, a hospice service provider in 14 states and the District of Columbia provides support for family caregivers. They realize that 30% of them describe the experience as stressful and help them recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout.  CLICK HERE to read more on this topic. 

The Cleveland and Mayo Clinic both provide information and assistance to family caregivers regarding burnout and physical health concerns. A frank discussion  with your primary care physician and your loved one’s physician is a great start in taking control of your caregiving situation. The single most recognized action for preventing burnout or physical illness is joining a community of fellow caregivers. 

The Family Caregiver Alliance at www.caregiver.org is a resource that all caregivers should have in their list of favorite websites. They provide education, advocacy,  and an opportunity to connect with other caregivers. Sharing your experience with those in similar caregiver situations helps relieve stress and allows you to get ideas for better caregiving.  CLICK HERE for more on caregiving. 

While each caregiving situation is a unique one, the role as a family caregiver is not. Your caring and compassion are so valuable and especially valued by your patient. On behalf of our generation, our communities, and our clients, the owners at Golden Bridges thank you.

 

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

 

Source material:

CLICK HERE for Cleveland Clinic article on “Caregiver Burnout”

CLICK HERE for Mayo Clinic article on “Caregiver Stress”

 

TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

Posted by on Oct 13, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

Yes! Seniors like to be treated at Halloween too. And senior living facilities love to host Trick or Treaters. This year while you’re selecting treats to give out at the door… and making sure the kids have the perfect costume… grab some treats for the seniors in your life.

If you don’t have an older neighbor or family member, check with a local church, community center, or nursing home for someone to “sponsor” at Halloween.

Some fun items you might include in a basket/bag for a senior are noted in this informative article: CLICK HERE

*Candy corn lip balm

*Small notepads and pens

*Playing cards

*Fun colored handkerchief

*Edible goodies that are safe for their diet (Poptarts, flavored applesauce, peanut butter crackers, microwavable lunch, nuts)

And make sure you schedule enough time for a visit with the senior when you drop off the treats. Spending time with seniors can be a valuable experience for all ages. The articles below outline things to be learned from visiting with seniors:

*Respect for elders

*A sense of self-identify

*A new skill, i.e. playing the piano or knitting

*Family or local history

ARTICLES:

https://grottonetwork.com/make-an-impact/volunteer/spending-time-with-the-elderly/

https://www.markmerrill.com/8-reasons-your-children-should-spend-time-with-the-elderly/

Halloween is a fun holiday. Make it fun for the seniors in your life this year!

 

Happy Halloween!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Menopause

Posted by on Sep 23, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Menopause

Here we go… the topic of the month for September… Menopause. Early in January, we partners got together and made a calendar for the year with topics we would emphasize each month. Immunizations was a pretty easy one. So was Alzheimer’s. Both topics with which you (our clients) identify.

And this month, menopause. Why menopause? Well, it IS a life transition. Sure, you lose that monthly “visitor”, but as for the rest…

Sleep Disturbance

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “as many as 61% [of menopausal women] report  insomnia symptoms”. (1) Getting up during the night and turning on a bright yellow or white bathroom light makes it harder to get back to sleep. Solution? At our NASMM conference this year, we learned that research show a colored night light plugged into the wall – or even a toilet seat colored night light allows you to remain in the sleep mode and return to sleep faster. The best color? Red! If you’re having that problem,  CLICK HERE for the list of best night lights for 2019.

For some tips on adequate and quality sleep, CLICK HERE

Fatigue and Energy Levels

“The same hormonal changes that cause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can also affect your mood and energy levels, leading to fatigue.” (2) So, if you or your aging parent are ready to downsize or move, don’t feel surprised that you just can’t do it all. That is where Golden Bridges can help. We can do the full move for you, or help with downsizing, giving you some confidence and guidance on what you can move, what you can’t, and how to direct those items into storage, sales, or donations.

Hair Loss and Weight Gain

Menopause can also do a number on the body. Hair loss is triggered by hormone fluctuations and,

“[w]hile scientists disagree over how menopause affects changes in weight, there is evidence that the process reduces the body’s metabolic rate. This change means that the body needs fewer calories, so even if a woman maintains her regular diet, she might put on additional weight as her caloric needs drop. Additionally, menopause-induced changes could redistribute body fat, causing more to be stored in the abdomen area.” (3)

Heart Palpitations; Hot Flashes; Hayfever

Those hormonal changes also affect your heart muscle, immune, and endocrine systems. Even if you never experienced allergies in the past, they can show up during menopause. “That’s right, hormone imbalance allergies are a real thing.

As we know, there are estrogen receptors all over the body, including on immunoregulatory cells. And estrogen, it appears, may skew the body’s response toward allergy and inflammation. This is generally held in check by progesterone, but in perimenopause and menopause, when levels of progesterone are low, asthma, allergies, even hay fever may appear or get worse.”(4)

Ending #1 – TMI?

Can you tell I’m stalling? Ok. It’s not because I don’t know anything about the topic, indeed I’ve known it intimately for nearly twenty years. Yep, I am one of the “lucky” ones. After having a hysterectomy at 33, I was informed that it might appear earlier for me than women who keep their uterus. Mine, however, was pre-cancerous and having three children already I had no objection to the surgery. My 30s were wonderful- not having to carry supplies or track my periods on the calendar. No birth control necessary. Life was good.

Then, WHAM! In my early 40s I began experiencing symptoms. Mild at first. I still remember that first hot flash. It was during a business call. I was presenting to a physician and his office staff. My face was hot and beet red, and I felt like the floor was dropping under my feet. I made it through, got to the car, and wondered what in the heck that was. It was maybe six months before the next one, and I still didn’t want to believe it was a hot flash. Heart palpitations, irregularity, irritability, headaches… they all came along for the ride through my 50s. Yes, I tried a hormone patch and all the over-the-counter remedies but the flashes were still affecting my sleep, hitting every 20 minutes – waking me up 14 times a night.

With a good primary care and OB/GYN physician team (and the help of a pharmacist), I am sleeping almost regularly, and confident that my 60s will only improve.

So, if you were expecting an ode to the wonderment of nature and a  woman’s body; or, how the privilege of being a mother makes up for everything… that’s not exactly what this is.

But, recently I did run across the journal I kept when my first was born. Mostly breastfeeding and bowel movements, schedules and sleeping. But in between, those moments where I cried at how beautiful he was and how I didn’t know that I could love that much. I still think menopause is a dirty trick, but if I could raise that beautiful baby and two more into great human beings, I will take the bad with the good and “be happy”.

Ending #2 – All Business

As a women-owned business, we owners of Golden Bridges either have or will experience menopause for ourselves. We can empathize with you if you’re still going through it, or envy those of you who’ve survived. No matter the curve balls it has thrown your way, we can be there for you as you navigate that other life transition of downsizing or moving. Call us for a free consultation, and let us help!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

 

Citations

(1)

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/menopause-and-sleep

(2) https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopause-fatigue#menopause-and-fatigue

(3)

https://facty.com/conditions/menopause/10-symptoms-of-the-menopause/7/

(4)

https://genneve.com/allergies-asthma-menopause/

More than just a flu shot

Posted by on Aug 13, 2019 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on More than just a flu shot

More than just a flu shot...

August is the month for recognizing the importance of immunizations. Not just for kids returning to school, but the important role they play in the health of the community.

“What makes vaccines unique is that they protect the person who is vaccinated as well as the community in which they live,” said Bruce Gellin, president of global immunization at Sabin Vaccine Institute.

This article I stumbled across on Facebook makes the case for adults/seniors to make sure we are up to date on some important vaccines that can help us remain healthy and contribute to better health among our families, friends, and neighbors.

Click HERE to read the full article. 

Yes, most of us get a flu shot, but would you have thought about the shingles or pneumonia vaccine if your primary care provider hadn’t mentioned it? Vaccines play an important role in protecting your health so you can be there for the grandchildren, your volunteering, and even assure that the weekly bridge game always has a fourth.

The first questions we ask our Golden Bridges clients… “What are your goals? What solutions can we provide to help you accomplish those  goals?” Almost universally, we hear that they want to stay healthy and live life better. Whether that is in their own home or in new, safer surroundings. Immunizations can be a part of the solution.

Be good to yourself this month and check in with the doctor to find out if your immunizations are up to date!

 

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Independence Daze

Posted by on Aug 1, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Independence Daze

Independence Daze

The Cambridge Dictionary defines independence as “the ability to live your life without being helped or influenced by other people”. July is the month that we Americans celebrate our independence. At Golden Bridges, we constantly seek to help our clients maintain their independence. How? you might ask.

Downsizing

Not everybody needs to live in a three bedroom house, especially when they have become “empty nesters”. We can help clients retain their financial independence for a longer period by moving them to a less expensive home or condo.

Aging in Place

Often clients don’t really need to move, but in order to maintain their independence and remain at home they may need to re position things in the home.

          * Kitchen items can be placed within convenient reach – between the shoulders and the hips

          *A bedroom might need to be moved to the main level of the home

          *Bathroom items can be hung on hooks or placed in shelving within easy reach and view

Decluttering

Maintaining independent mobility is important as we age. Assuring that the home is safe for someone who has lost mobility (and maybe needs a walker or wheelchair to move around) can be achieved by decluttering and opening up new pathways for daily living activities.

Are you dazed by the enormity of these tasks? That’s where we can help. We provide solutions for those in transition. That includes those transitioning their level of independence. When we do consultations with potential clients, the first question we ask is “What is your goal?” In so many instances, the reply includes maintaining independence. And whether that is physical, emotional, or simply the opportunity to make independent decisions about the future, we are here to help.

 

Susan Scholz, Partner 

Golden Bridges

Calhoun Peaches

Posted by on Jun 27, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Calhoun Peaches

Calhoun Peaches

“Mom, I saw a sign for Calhoun peaches today. Remember when you always watched for those signs so you could make pies?”

No reply.

“Remember, Mom? Dad always wanted cinnamon and sugar on the top, but I wanted ice cream.”

A look of confusion.

“You remember, Mom!”

A look of frustration and/or fear.

“Mom, you know what I’m talking about.”

Mom decides it is time to go back to her room and the visit is over.

Have you ever experienced this or a similar conversation with your loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s or another dementia disease? Experts say that a better way to start this conversation is, “Mom, it’s Calhoun peach season again.” Let her process that statement and wait for her response. Maybe she will remember when she made peach pie. Maybe she will talk about when she was a child and picked peaches in an orchard or her backyard. Maybe she will change the subject altogether. It’s fine. Who cares if she remembers that time you’re thinking of? The important thing is being together (with or without the peaches conversation).

June is the month for recognizing those with Alzheimer’s and bringing attention to their (and their caregivers’) struggles. At Golden Bridges, we are observing the month by blogging and posting on our social media some tips for dealing with the disease and its devastating effects.

The Alzheimer’s Association has some great posts this month too. Check out ten ways to love your brain  CLICK HERE

Big Think posted about music and Alzheimer’s patients.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

And, courtesy of WTOP, some alarming statistics about the rate of diagnosis… “Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease…”

To read the full article CLICK HERE

If you have a loved one who struggles with dementia, there are some simple things you can do to make them more comfortable in your (or their) home. Check out these tips and more.

CLICK HERE

And, if these seem overwhelming, get help.

  • Attend a caregiver support group
  • Get more education from the Alzheimer’s Association
  • Talk to their physician about the issues facing them
  • Call Golden Bridges for a free consultation on making the home safe for them, or moving them to a safer living situation.

 

Happy Calhoun peaches season!

IL Veteran’s Home Move

Posted by on Apr 25, 2019 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on IL Veteran’s Home Move

On Wednesday, April 24, Golden Bridges, Inc. will complete their work with the administration and staff of the Illinois Veterans Home to finalize the transition of residents to the new Lester Hammond Hall living facility. Prior to the relocation of residents, Golden Bridges staff have provided pre-move family communication ensuring that individual residents’ needs are met and family members are informed and involved. Six years experience in relocating clients, plus specialized training in serving seniors with disabilities and/or dementia enable them to anticipate and answer the specific needs of IVH residents.

During the move, Golden Bridges staff will work alongside Veterans Home staff and directly with residents and their families to reduce transfer trauma. By setting up the new rooms as similarly as possible to their former rooms, it will be easier for residents to feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

Transition to full occupancy of Lester Hammond Hall began in February, and concludes this week with the largest one-day move of 30 residents.

Golden Bridges will use eleven staff members to sort, pack, and unpack veterans’ belongings. Items will be transported by IVH staff and volunteers of the local American Legion. Following the move, Golden Bridges will follow up with residents and families to ensure that their needs were met throughout the process.

Golden Bridges is a Senior Move Management company that provides solutions for those in transition. Inaugural winners of the QACC Business Plan competition, they have served over 200 clients during six years in business. They have a total of fourteen staff members and a second location in Springfield, IL allowing them to serve an area that includes Northeast Missouri, Southeast Iowa and Central Illinois.

To receive a free in-home consultation for your moving, downsizing or organizing needs, call them at 888-922-6368, email info@goldenbridges4you.com, and check them out on Facebook.

NOTE:

For additional information regarding this press release, call Susan Scholz at 217-316-6887.