Senior Moments

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.

Running Late…Again

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 in Senior Move Managers | Comments Off on Running Late…Again

Running Late... Again

I just read an article about people like me (the chronically tardy). It says that we are happier, healthier, and more optimistic. One of the reasons why is that we actually believe that we can do four things at once. Like leave home at 15 minutes before the hour, stop for a cup of coffee, run into the store to get the doughnuts I promised, get gas, and still make it to the meeting on the hour.

As Senior Move Managers, we often have many balls to juggle for one client and three or more clients to serve at a time. We love being this busy. We love serving our clients. And making three or more stops on the way to a meeting is one of the ways we get things done.

Perhaps it is a sign of our multi-tasking society, the fast pace of the world, or even my age catching up with me! 

According to the article, people like me actually may feel the passing of time differently from other people. Regardless, I am still going to try to get there on time… and get gas, and coffee, and pick up doughnuts at the store on my way!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Click Here

To read the full article on "People Who Are Always Tardy Live Longer, Science Says"

Senior Blog Spots

Posted by on Mar 21, 2019 in Senior Move Managers | Comments Off on Senior Blog Spots

There are many senior bloggers doling out advice, musing about health issues or just sharing their experiences with aging. At Golden Bridges we try to share what we have learned and hope to make your aging easier. 

The article I have shared here gives you a snapshot of five popular senior bloggers. I personally follow two of them  – George Takei and Iris Apfel. I also follow Dian Griesl on “Silver Disobedience”. Sure, she was a Wilhelmina model. Sure she’s beautiful. She’s also real and relatable. 
Check them out. You’re sure to connect with one (or more) of them.

It might just……

  • make you think about something in a new way
  • share the secrets of aging
  • brighten your day.

CLICK HERE for snapshot of the five senior bloggers

Susan Scholz, Owner
Golden Bridges, Inc.

I’m Freezing!

Posted by on Feb 20, 2019 in Senior Move Managers | Comments Off on I’m Freezing!


That’s a phrase I use all the time. Summer, winter, spring, even fall. My body does not like to be cold. This winter has been especially rough. I have blankets scattered throughout the house. If there is ever a shortage of sweaters, call me. I have some extras. Ok, not enough for everybody, but I’ve been know to wear more than one a day and have them stashed at work, home, in the car… even in the summer.

Recently I have done some research about how we react to cold. The physical things – like shivering and craving fatty foods and hot beverages. Also the behavioral responses. Me, I get sleepy and cranky… how about you?

As we age, we can be more adversely affected by cold temperatures. The internet is full of tips for caregivers on how to keep their loved ones warm, and also the signs of hypothermia in the elderly. Pharmacy Times website cites the following:

The best way to identify someone with hypothermia is to look for

  •  pale skin,
  • cold feet and hands, and a
  • swollen face.

The person may become

  • sleepy, confused, or angry;
  • speak slower than normal;
  • have slurred speech and
  • have difficulty with balance.

From caregiver.com, additional cold weather hazards include

  • the flu
  • icy streets (or porches)
  • house fires, and
  • dehydration.

What can you do? Put on another sweater! Call your loved ones to check on them. Offer to go grocery shopping for an older neighbor so they don’t have to get out on the ice. Check their smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors (and yours too while you’re at it). Make sure to get sunlight when possible.

Layer, layer, layer. Dress in light layers that provide thermal protection while indoors. Layer on outdoor accessories-  gloves, scarves, hats when venturing outside. (Check out the video link on our Facebook page for the warmest way to tie a scarf!) Layer your bed with flannel sheet, comforter, then thinner blankets that provide weight and more layers of warmed air, or use knitted/crocheted afghans (a tip I found on lifehacker.com).

And remember that sooner or later the weather will change!


Stay Warm and Safe,

Susan & the Golden Bridges Team