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Hard conversations smooth way for caregivers, seniors

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director- Strategy

Families are often alarmed when they see an older loved one losing the ability to manage their affairs, whether that’s paying bills or understanding how to take medications. They might be unsure how to help or frustrated in trying to work with banks or healthcare providers.

Conversations about personal finances and health are never easy, but the best time to have them is when older adults are healthy and mentally sharp. Having the conversations sooner rather than later empowers seniors to make their wishes known and to designate who may act on their behalf should the need arise.

When those conversations don’t take place, family caregivers are left to untangle loved ones’ personal affairs on their own.

Read more >

Parents moving in? Tips for a smooth transition

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Moving can be a stressful and taxing event for anyone at any stage in their life. It can be especially difficult for an aging person who can no longer live safely by themselves. Often, single, aging parents end up moving in with their adult children when faced with mobility, personal care, or financial challenges. This drastic change in living arrangements can cause tension in your relationship. Read more >

heart health EKG line between hands

How's your heart?

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

February is American Heart Month, so show your heart some love.

Chances are you or someone you know has or is at risk of having cardiovascular disease. It’s the underlying cause of death in one of every three deaths in the United States, causing an average of one death every 40 seconds.

Read more >

Scam Caution Sign

How to outwit would-be scammers

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

With Sunday, Jan. 28, being Data Privacy Day and next week being Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, now is a good time to review the current scams circulating. By staying vigilant, you can protect yourself and loved ones.

It’s tax time, so let’s start with the IRS. Read more >

glaucoma eye exam

Glaucoma: Are you at risk?

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to schedule an eye exam.

More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. About half of those who have glaucoma don’t know they have the disease, which can silently steal 40 percent of a person’s vision without notice.

Read more >

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Social services: We can't afford not to pay for them

by: Julie Guenthner, CEO

“The Kentucky General Assembly faces tough choices as it builds our commonwealth’s budget. Social services, which are already stretched thin, should not be on the chopping block.

We have a moral imperative to care for the frail, sick and less fortunate in our society.”

Read more to see the rest of CEO Julie Guenthner’s guest column in the Courier Journal.

volunteering raised hands

If you’ve resolved to help others, then we can help

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

Many of us see the new year as an opportunity to start fresh and become better, happier and healthier.

Volunteering can help on all counts. Did you know, for example, that a Carnegie Mellon University study found that adults over age 50 who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. read more >

Chocolate Dreams - The gift that keeps on giving

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Have you ever noticed trash pickup day after Christmas? So many empty boxes! Sometimes, as heartfelt as many gifts are, they eventually become part of the endless expanse of clutter that fills our home.

Back in 2013, the LA Times reported that the average American home has over 300,000 items in it and there are over 50,000 storage facilities nationwide. There’s a better way – and it’s called giving experiences, instead of “stuff.” We have a way you can show someone special you care –and give back to the community at the same time. read more >

blood pressure cuff hypertension health care healthy

Feel pressured by hypertension? We can help

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

Last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed guidelines for recognizing high blood pressure, a move that is expected to increase the number of people diagnosed with the condition by 43 percent.

If you need help in learning how to eat right or in developing an exercise habit, ElderServe has programs that can support you in your journey toward a healthy lifestyle. read more >

snowflake on blue background

Tips for coping with holiday blues

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

Many of us associate the year-end holiday season with festivities surrounded by friends and families, hot cocoa and cookies.

But for some older adults, the picture isn’t quite so idyllic. In fact, they might be quite lonely or feel left out. Friends, siblings and cousins pass away. Former co-worker lose touch. Faltering health prevents or limits trips from home.

Feeling sad and lonely isn’t just a state of mind. Studies have shown that social isolation increases risk of cognitive decline, heart disease and stroke.

So what can you do? read more >

family caregivers siblings teamwork

Siblings can team up to care for aging parents

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

Caring for aging parents can be as stressful as it is rewarding – maybe more so. Roles slowly reverse. Finances, marriages and jobs may suffer. With siblings, family dynamics and old wounds may create challenges.

The holiday season may also stoke friction. Maybe a brother visiting from out of town is shocked at how Mom’s decline and disagrees with her care. A reminiscence about family mementos may shift to a discussion of a will and finances, triggering squabbles. The primary caregiver might resent the freedom that other siblings have.

However, with some strategic planning and communication, siblings can forge a solid team and support each other. read more >

Healthy eating during the holiday season

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager and Sarah Irvin, Wellness Programs Coordinator

Thanksgiving is a time to be surrounded by family, friends, and delicious food. However, the holiday can present some challenges for older adults because bodies might not metabolize foods as well as they did at a younger age.

While it’s important for everyone to eat a well-balanced meal, older adults need to be especially mindful of their eating habits during the holidays. Below are some tips from Sarah Irvin, ElderServe’s Wellness Programs Coordinator, for a healthier Thanksgiving!!  read more >

Helpful tips to stop smoking

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

About 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world.

While cigarette smoking rates have dropped by 20% in the past 50 years, people still use other forms of smoking tobacco like cigars, pipes, and hookah, which can be just as dangerous.

Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. Older adults may have been smoking for so long that they think there is no benefit to stopping now. However, the health benefits are almost immediate after you quit. Benefits specific to older adults include: decreased risk of bone fractures, a higher capacity to exercise, and a lower chance of developing some form of dementia. Here are some steps to quit once and for all:  read more >

caregiving family caregiver clasped hands

Self-care tips for caregivers

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director-Strategy

If you’ve ever flown in an airplane, you know the drill. Should the cabin pressure drop, put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child. You can’t care for someone else if you are out of air.

But when you’re caring for your spouse, parents or in-laws, it can be hard to catch your breath.

Caregiving strains the body mentally and physically. Multiple studies have shown that caregivers report higher levels of depression or other mental health problems that their peers who aren’t caregivers. Other research has shown that caregivers have an increased risk of heart disease and suffer an increase rate of physical problems (such as acid reflux, headaches and obesity).

November is Family Caregivers Month, so we recognize your dedication while encouraging you to take care of yourselves. ElderServe offers both free and paid programming that you might find useful.

 read more >

Halloween safety tips for older adults

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Halloween can often be a frightening time for older adults, not only because of their neighbors dressed as werewolves, mummies, and witches, but because the constant knocking and ringing by masked visitors could be unsettling regardless of their intent. According to 2016 data from Travelers Insurance, crime-related insurance claims spiked by 24% on Halloween, more than on any other day of the year.

On Halloween night, home owners – older adults included – see more unfamiliar faces than any other time of the year. Anyone who will be handing out candy that night has a responsibility to keep themselves and the ‘trick-or-treaters’ safe.  read more >

elder abuse

Remembering the Hidden Victims of Domestic Violence

by: Paul Troy, Senior Crime Victim Advocate

With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, we’d like to focus attention on a large group of victims often unseen and unserved in our community — our seniors.

The Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as “a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse.”  read more >

Elf to an Elder - what you need to know!

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Elf to an Elder is Just Around the Corner!

The holiday season is a time to enjoy the company of friends and family. Unfortunately, many of the 2,000 older adults that receive services from our caring staff are isolated and spend the holidays alone. Providing gifts will let them know they are not forgotten! It’s not too early to think about how you can spread a little holiday cheer. Show you care by being an Elf to an Elder!

If you are interested in providing gifts for an isolated senior, email Cristeen Grasch at  read more >

Medicare card example

Medicare Open Enrollment: Q&A

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director of Strategy

Next week, the open enrollment period for Medicare begins. We’ve created a primer to help you make smart decisions based on your needs and your budget. If you need assistance with enrollment, we help you there, too.
read more >

Identifying depression in older adults

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Depression affects more than 19 million Americans every year. Although depression is not a normal part of the aging process, more than two million of the 34 million Americans 65 and older suffer from some form of it.

The likelihood of depression increases when someone has a chronic illness like Alzheimer’s disease or cancer, or if they experience a life event that commonly occurs as people age (e.g. the loss of a loved one). Grieving from a loss can often feel like a roller coaster with good days and bad days.

Sadness lasting more than two weeks could be a sign of depression. However, it may sometimes be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in some older adults because sadness is not their main symptom. Identifying the signs is the first step to getting them the help they need.  read more >

Hearing loss can affect more than your social life

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director of Strategy

Hearing loss can stress not only the older adult, but the rest of the family.

Before my dad got his hearing aids a few years ago, I found myself losing patience with having to SHOUT EVERYTHING AND E-NUN-CI-ATE EV-ER-Y SIN-GLE SYL-LABLE.

But hearing loss is more than frustrating and inconvenient for sufferers and their families. It can have serious health repercussions. read more >

National Fall Prevention Awareness Day

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Every 11 seconds, an emergency department sees an older adult for a fall-related injury. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans and can threaten their safety and independence.

The toll goes beyond bruises and fractures. According to the National Council on Aging, the financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.

Sometimes, even the fear of falling can impair the quality of life for an older adult. In trying to be cautious, seniors may limit their activities and social engagement, leading to social isolation, which is also detrimental to overall health. read more >

How To Protect Your Identity

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director of Strategy

The recent data breach at Equifax credit bureau rattled a lot of people. 143 million, to be exact. Exposed information included names, Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses – and even some driver’s license and credit card numbers.

Nothing is foolproof in protecting your personal information, but you can make it harder for would-be thieves. Taking precautions is especially important for older adults. Criminals believe that seniors are more financially stable, have better credit, and typically don’t open new lines of credit or monitor their credit reports, making them vulnerable. read more >

Harvey reminds us to be prepared

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director of Strategy

Haunting images poured out of hurricane-ravaged Texas this weekend: Rescuers led nursing home residents out of waist-high water, and a CNN reporter lifted a frail, elderly man from chest-deep water in his home onto a boat.

A natural disaster or a haz-mat accident can leave all of us vulnerable, but none more so than older adults, who might live alone and have frailties. However, preparation can ease a harrowing situation – and maybe save a life. read more >

Aging in Place Could Require Some Home Modifications

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

According to a recent AARP housing survey, 83% of older Americans want to stay in their own homes for the rest of their lives. Other studies suggest that most homes are not equipped to accommodate the needs of people over the age of 65. While most us would prefer to stay in our own homes for as long as possible, we should remember that our safety is a big factor in making that decision. Often, seniors are living in an unsafe environment that makes them susceptible to falls and other injuries. Luckily, there are changes you can make to your home to make aging in place a possibility. read more >

Forgetfulness: Should I be worried?

By: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Have you ever wondered, “Have I always been this forgetful?” Often, symptoms of the early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia can be confused with the traditional signs that accompany aging. We all know that many things change as we age. Normally, our bodies and brains slow down, but our intelligence stays the same. We might occasionally have a hard time remembering the names of people, places, and things as we get older, yet it has little impact on our daily lives. read more >

Stay in touch!

By: Anonymous

Friendships can mean different things to different people. For example, one might say they are close to their friend, then discover something about them that they would never have suspected. To the friend, you may have just been an acquaintance. Both individuals were content with their perceived levels of closeness. read more >

Five Reasons to Choose Home Care

By: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

It can often be a very difficult situation for families once they decide care is needed for their loved one. There can be a lot of questions and concerns that arise when searching through the options. Sometimes facility-care is the best choice for them. However, non-medical Home Care can be a great option for someone who wants to enjoy the comforts of home while receiving help with personal care, light housekeeping, and transportation. Below are five reasons why Home Care could be the right choice for you and your loved one. read more >

Downsizing Mom and Dad's Stuff

By: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Often, downsizing can be a difficult topic for adult children to have with their parents. There can be decades of memories and feelings associated with a home and the thought of moving out can bring up feelings of sadness and loss. However, there are ways to ease the transition between a home they’ve been in for years to a new, and often smaller, residence. read more >

Cough to Cancer in Three Clicks

By: Ronnie Gilbert, HomeCare Manager

Need to find the closest pizza delivery restaurant? Check the internet. Wondering what the least populated country in the world is? Do a search on the internet. (In case you were wondering, it is the Pitcairn Islands population 57.) Or are you looking for a gluten free, vegan lasagna? Go to the world-wide web. (And yes a recipe does exist for it.) The internet has changed the way we live. You can find virtually anything you need to know by doing a search. It’s amazing. However, one does need to approach it with caution. read more >

The Conversation Surrounding Driving

By: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Having a conversation with your elderly parents about limiting their driving can be one of the most difficult conversations you’ll have. This topic can be so tough because they see their ability to drive as the biggest source of independence. Some red flags to look for are . . . read more >

Warning Signs: I Think My Neighbor Needs Help!

By: Lauren Curry, Executive Assistant

Day after day, we pass our neighbors’ homes and notice their behaviors and habits. Sometimes, we pick up on their routines while gazing out our windows. What happens when you notice changes in a neighbor’s routine that seem like a red flag? You may be unsure about whether you should do something or wonder if it would be prying. These thoughts can become especially pressing if your neighbor is an older adult who lives alone. read more >

We Need to Talk

By: Ronnie Gilbert, HomeCare Manager

Our mom is an active 71 years old. She still works full time, plays bridge 2 or 3 times a week, attends performances of her grandson’s punk rock band, helped her granddaughter move into her college dorm last year and still enjoys her bourbon and ginger ale while socializing with her friends. We like to think of her as full of boundless energy, but my sister and I realize she has slowed down some over recent years. read more >

Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

By: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

While acting as a caregiver for a loved one, there can be many things that you are responsible for such as: managing their medications, taking them to appointments, preparing their meals, and providing companionship. The list goes on and on. When caring for a loved one, the caregiver often ignores their own health and well-being. Here are some signs that you could be at the end of the rope and ways to address it.read more >

Home Safety Checklist

By: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Many older adults in America are injured each and every day due to falls that could have been prevented. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that on average 1.4 million people aged 65 and older are hospitalized each year for injuries associated with consumer products. Falls in and around the home are the top reason for injuries in older adults. However, many falls are preventable and there are easy ways to read more >