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Volunteer Spotlight - December 2018

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Loneliness and social isolation can put anyone at risk for depression or physical health issues, but older adults are especially vulnerable. As their children leave the nest, they retire from jobs and/or they give up driving, older adults might find themselves home alone – and bored.

Friendly Visitor and TeleCare help to combat this by providing regular social engagement through daily phone calls and monthly visits.

One of our volunteers, Todd Hill, started volunteering in TeleCare in July 2014 and joined Friendly Visitor in March 2016. Here is a little about Todd and his experience in the programs.  Read more.

Prime Times - ElderServe's Fall 2018 Newsletter

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Meet the line dancers from our senior center. Hear from our CEO, Julie, on what’s on the horizon for ElderServe. Learn about new volunteer opportunities and events happening soon! Read more>

Elf to an Elder 2018 - 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! Read more>

Person trick or treating

Halloween Safety Tips for Older Adults

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Halloween can often be a frightening time for older adults, not because of the spooky costumes, instead 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>

Choosing a Doctor for Cognitive Decline and Dementia

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Cognitive decline, including dementia is a condition that is not considered a normal part of aging. According to the World Health Organization, over 50 million people worldwide have dementia and there are almost 10 million new cases every year. Different from general memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia are degenerative diseases that will gradually worsen over time. For most people, symptoms start out subtly and may only be noticeable to the person experiencing them. If you find that you or a loved one are having a hard time completing everyday activities, or have any behavior or thinking issues, it might be time to see a healthcare professional. <Read more>

Handyman and clipboard

Tips for Hiring Handymen: Avoiding Scams

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Home improvement scams happen year-round. However, this time of year offers new opportunities for scammers including leaf removal, gutter cleaning, and roof repair. Although there are many honest and hardworking contractors working hard for your business, there are several con-artists looking to rip off potential customers, especially older adults. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lose an estimated $1.4 billion to fraud and scams annually. Below are some helpful tips for protecting yourself from would-be home improvement scammers. <Read more>

Polypharma - What is it?

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

As we age, we often take more and more medications to manage the symptoms of arising health issues. Polypharma, or taking multiple prescriptions to manage just one health issue, is becoming an epidemic among elderly people. The risks associated with taking multiple medications can seriously affect an elderly person’s health. Polypharmacy can be hard to spot as it typically happens when elderly people are prescribed medications by different, independent healthcare providers. <Read more>

Fall Prevention Tips

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Today marks National Fall Prevention Awareness Day! Having good balance is important for everyday activities including climbing the stairs, walking down the sidewalk, and getting out of a chair.

Each year, more than 3 million Americans go to the emergency room because of fall-related injuries. Falls can cause serious fractures of the arm, hand, ankle, or hip. The good news is many falls are preventable. Here are five tips for staying safe.  <Read more>

Strength training: Photo of small hand weights, athletic shoes, scale and exercise ball

Strength Training Fights Muscle Loss

by: Lisa Jessie, CFO

Almost every day brings a news report or new study on the benefits of exercise, whether for staying healthy or managing a health condition.

Last week, a column in The New York Times addressed sarcopenia, the loss of muscle in people as they age. One geriatrician is quoted as saying this condition is an important cause of older adults losing independence.

Strength training is an antidote to muscle loss.  <Read more>

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Mananger

When parents are unable to care for their children, grandparents often step in. Today, the US Census estimates 2.7 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren.

Raising grandchildren gives kids a sense of security, develops a deeper relationship, and keeps the family together. However, it is challenging, too. Resources are available, and we’ve listed a few below:

Sometimes you might just need to talk with someone who identifies with your situation. Often, a support system can make all the difference when dealing with stressful circumstances.  Daily Strength is an online community with a special online support group for grandparents who are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren. <Read more>

Older hands type on a laptop. ElderServe's Senior Center offers computer classes.

Help available for older job seekers

by: Lisa Jessie, CFO

As we head into Labor Day, a holiday created to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers, we thought it would be useful to corral job training resources for older adults. After all,  Americans 55 and older make up a fifth of the total labor force today, compared with 10 years ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. <Read more>

Boundaries in Caregiving - Maintaining Dignity

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

As people age, they often require assistance. A major concern for individuals who receive in-home care from an agency or family member is maintaining dignity and privacy while receiving help with using the restroom, bathing, feeding, and dressing.

According to a 2015 study from AARP, an estimated 44% of Americans have been a caregiver to an older adult or child. The chances are relatively high that you or someone you know will become a caregiver at some point along the way. <Read more>

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Louisville acts boldly to prevent suicide

by: Lisa Jessie, CFO

Kentucky tends to fare poorly in most health rankings, and suicide is no different. Between 1999 and 2016, the state’s suicide rate rose almost 37 percent. For the years 2008-104, Jefferson County ranked 11th among 50 peer counties for highest rates of suicide.

But a community-wide coalition in Louisville seeks to reverse the numbers – and you can help.   <Read more>

How to plan for long term care

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

According to a survey from the University of Chicago, two out of every three Americans who reach age 65 will need long-term care at some point. However, the majority of those age 40 and older have done little to nothing when it comes to planning for how they might pay for the care as they age.

Most people underestimate the cost of long-term care. Research in 2015 found that the average annual cost for a nursing home ranged from $80,300 to $91,250. For assisted living, the average annual cost was $43,200.  <Read more>

Vintage street rod that is bright blue with white flames on the fenders. Automobiles give us freedom, making older adults reluctant to quit driving when their health, vision or motor skills decline.

Senior drivers and safety

by: Lisa Jessie, CFO

America has had a long love affair with the open road and its automobiles. Nowhere is that more evident than in Louisville, KY, the first weekend in August, when highways and parking lots are full of vintage cars in town for the Street Rod Nationals.

But automobiles are more than eye candy with horsepower. They are freedom – to go where we like, when we like. Unfortunately, as we get older, our eyesight may fail and our reflexes slow. Older adults are understandably reluctant to give up driving.

How do you know when it’s time quit driving, or when it’s time to ask a loved one to hand over the keys?  <Read more>

Older adults and technology: Staying safe online

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

The internet offers connection with family and friends, as well as entertainment. However, the internet can also be a gateway for scammers. Unfortunately, the elderly are the most frequent targets of fraud scams. To avoid being taken advantage of, take a few moments and follow these simple steps and have a safe an enjoyable experience while online. <Read more>

Seven Stages of Alzheimer's Disease: What to expect

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease, which develops slowly, typically over a period of several years. It affects memory, thinking, language, problem-solving, and even personality and movement. While not everyone will experience the same symptoms, and the disease may progress at different rates most people follow a similar pattern as the disease advances. <Read more>

Closeup of $10 and $20 bills. In addition to shouldering the tasks of providing care, caregivers might find them paying loved ones' expenses.

Caregivers find themselves assuming expenses

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

Much has been written about the physical and emotional toll on family caregivers – and on what lost productivity costs businesses. But what about the financial cost to caregivers? A recent survey by Northwestern Mutual of nearly 1,000 caregivers found that 68 percent of them report that they provide financial support to their loved one, an increase of 4 percentage points over the prior year. <Read more>

Exterior of senior living building

Senior Living: Where to Start?

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

The United States has more than 30,000 residential care communities and more than 15,600 nursing homes in the United States, according to the CDC. Navigating the variety of senior care options can be confusing, but we’re here to help. Below you’ll find common models explained, so that you can choose the appropriate level of care.  <Read more>

Silhouette of person reaching hand out in support

Seven ways to support caregivers

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

In 2015, an AARP report estimated the economic value of family caregivers’ unpaid work at $470 billion a year. But this free labor comes with hidden costs. Caregivers often find themselves socially isolated, which studies show is detrimental to physical and mental health. Research also finds that caregivers are at higher risk for certain health conditions and that they generally report poorer health than the general population.

If you have a friend or family member providing care for a loved one, reach out. Here are seven ways to offer support: <Read more>

Older adults and hoarding

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

For simple or sentimental reasons, things can really add up when someone has a hoarding disorder. Aging can also bring on elderly hoarding and Diogenes Syndrome. Many families are dealing with loved ones and parents who were hoarders.

Being the primary caregiver for a loved one can be challenging enough. But having to clean through a hoarder’s personal belongings and deciding what to do with the house adds a whole new layer of difficulty to the situation. Learn more from these tips on how to deal with elderly hoarding.

Whether it’s accumulated antiques or an extreme case of Diogenes Syndrome, sorting through someone’s belongings is exhausting. Here are a few tips to help you get through the cleanup: <Read more>

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Annually, close to 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited. Older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more every year due to elder financial abuse and exploitation. Unfortunately, it happens in every demographic and can affect anyone—a family member, a neighbor, even you. It is estimated that only one in five of these crimes are discovered.

On June 15, 2006, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization launched World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD). WEEAD provides an opportunity for communities to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older adults. By understanding elder abuse, we can provide a safer community for all.  <Read more>

CEO Julie Guenthner and 2018 Champion for the Aging Mary Haynes, CEO of Nazareth Home

Haynes recognized as 2018 Champion for the Aging

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director-Strategy

Nearly 300 people gathered at the Seelbach Hotel on Friday, June 8, to honor Nazareth Home’s Mary Haynes as ElderServe’s 2018 Champion for the Aging. Haynes, CEO of Nazareth Home, has long been an advocate for innovative, person-centered long-term care. The fund-raising luncheon raise about $80,000 for ElderServe. <Read more>

Sun and clouds in the sky. Older adults should take precautions in extreme heat.

Beat the heat this summer

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Spring bypassed Kentucky this year, taking us straight into summer. With the higher temperatures, older adults, particularly those with chronic health conditions, should take precautions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die each year from “heat waves” than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. Family members, friends and neighbors should keep an eye on the seniors in their lives, who can be especially vulnerable. Following a few simple steps can ensure you and your loved ones stay safe during summer heat waves.  <Read more>

Scrabble tiles spell "learn." Learning new things can boost cognitive health, and exercise has a correlation with improved word recall.

What’s the word? Exercise may help

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

No matter our age, many of us have had “senior moments” where we can’t recall a name or a word – even if it’s on the proverbial tip of the tongue. But we might find ourselves doing it more as we grow older.

While the evidence is still out on whether computer and online games can improve your memory, research has shown that exercise can maintain connections and increase the structure of the brain. A recent small study showed a correlation between aerobic exercise and word recall.

When you care for your body, you’re also caring for your brain. In addition to exercise, the National Institute on Aging recommends these common tactics for protecting your cognitive health: <Read more>

Travel and Aging: Tips for a turbulence-free vacation

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Security checks and the general headaches of airline travel can be exhausting for anyone, let alone seniors. Older adults may depend on a wheelchair or have health conditions that can complicate travel.

But some simple planning will make for a smoother trip:

Travel with medications

Be sure to keep up with your loved one’s regular medication schedule. Additionally, pack medications for pain, motion sickness, and nausea. Be sure to pack enough medications for the duration of the trip, plus a few days’ extra in case of travel delays. Be sure to read the TSA’s tips for traveling with medications. Read more >

A senior woman smiles while talking on the phone. TeleCare volunteers make a difference in the lives of older adults.

Help Yourself While You Help Others

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

You know that your brain is a complex system of wiring – but did you know that human connections are key to keeping that that wiring intact?

A recent study at Indiana University found that volunteering may be instrumental in staving off dementia. The 12-year study looked at more than 64,000 adults 60 and older who participated in the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study. The research found that older adults who volunteered two hours a week scored higher in cognitive testing than non-volunteers, even when controlling for other factors such as depression and health.

At ElderServe, we’ve seen firsthand how isolation can adversely affect the health of older adults, and we’re committed to battling loneliness among seniors. Our volunteers, young and old, play a vital role – helping themselves while they help others. Read more >

Senior Care: There's an App for That

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

From smart phones to smart homes, modern technology has infiltrated every part of our lives. It’s no surprise then that technology has worked its way into senior care, as well.

The internet of things” (IoT) is an interconnection between the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. The internet of things has the potential to make a massive impact in the healthcare industry, especially senior care. On a larger scope, the internet of things basically connects any device with an on and off switch to the internet and to each other. By creating a network of connected devices that can communicate with each other, it could completely change the way we see the world and deliver support to seniors. Read more >

Doctor talks with a patient sitting on an exam table. (Doctor-patient communcation)

Straight talk on communicating with your doctor

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director-Strategy

Doctor-patient communication is vital to good medical care. But some older adults might find keeping the lines open is difficult. Perhaps they have difficulty hearing. Maybe they forget to tell the doctor about symptoms or other medication they take.

However, with a few minor adjustments, seniors can make the most out of their medical appointments. Read more >

Volunteers holding rakes and shovels

April is National Volunteer Month

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Every April, we recognize the amazing work of our volunteers during National Volunteer Week. We celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of coming together to build a stronger, more resilient community. Each year, we are reminded of the importance of volunteerism and the value that it brings to our organization. To all our volunteers, we say, “Thank you” for improving the lives of older adults!

Volunteers are at the core of what we do at ElderServe. Annually, 619 volunteers help us achieve our mission! We have several volunteer opportunities available ranging from ongoing one-on-one programs with older adults to one-time service projects.  If you are interested in volunteering, contact our volunteer services manager, Megan Carpenter, at 502.736.3838 or visit elderserveinc.org/help/volunteer-opportunities . Read more >

Logo for National Crime Victims' Rights Week 2018

Helping crime victims understand their rights

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

Nobody wants to see an older adult beaten, neglected or exploited. Unfortunately, it happens more than you might think.

Researchers estimate that 10 percent of adults older than 60 were abused are some way each year, but studies have also shown that crimes against seniors are highly underestimated. Individuals who have dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s – or who are in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities – are often not included in surveys. In addition, older adults may be less likely to report crimes, particularly if a friend or family member is the perpetrator.

This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and at ElderServe we are passionate about protecting and supporting senior crime victims. Read more >

Elderly woman strolling in a park

Wandering: Prevention and safety tips

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Wandering city sidewalks to window shop or strolling along a park path can be a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, unless you suffer from dementia.

Those with dementia can become disoriented or lost even in familiar places, exposing them to multiple hazards. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, three out of five people with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease will wander. If you’re a caregiver for someone who is dealing with dementia, develop a plan to lessen their likelihood of wandering. Read more >

Senior woman sits at home, with her laptop computer open, planning and reviewing paperwork.

Planning for aging care when single

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

This past weekend, a headline in The New York Times caught my eye: “Single? No Kids? Don’t Fret: How to Plan Care in Your Later Years.”

I embrace the Old Maid Cat Lady life, having only a fur-kid. Said cat does not have opposable thumbs or any employable skills. In short, I’m on my own when I grow older.

But I’m not alone. By 2030, the number of women ages 80 to 84 without children will be 16 percent in 2030, compared with 12 percent in 2010, according to an AARP report. The same report shows that the number of potential caregivers per persons 80 and older will drop from 7 in 2010 to 4 by 2030.

Clearly, I need a plan. Read more >

Closeup photo of clover blooming. Spring pollen can trigger allergies.

Spring is here. Let the battle on pollen begin.

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

Spring is a beautiful time of year in Louisville, KY, when budding trees and blooming flowers add a pop of color to our daily walks. However, as the plants start to bloom, the pollen count rises, and those of us affected by seasonal allergies start to suffer. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Louisville was the fourth most challenging city in the U.S. to live in for spring allergy sufferers. Read more >

tax preparation assistance 1040 help

The tax man cometh

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

You get a couple of extra days to file your tax returns this year, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute. For shorter waits, have your taxes done before the procrastinators!

This year, the 2017 individual income tax returns are due on April 17 because the 15th falls on a Sunday and Monday is the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC. Kentucky follows the federal due date.

If you need help completing your tax forms, free resources are available for low- and moderate-income taxpayers. Read more >

How employers can help with the caregiving burden

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

In today’s world, employers strive to maximize profits by maximizing employee productivity. But the looming “silver tsunami” will have employers looking for ways to support employees outside of the office.

The U.S. Census Bureau expects that the U.S. population 65 and older will double by 2050.  Meanwhile, the number of working-age adults or children will increase by only 15 percent. The ratio of potential caregivers to seniors is expected to fall below 4:1 by 2030 – from 7:1 in 2010, the Urban Institute projects.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 57 percent of the 10 million family caregivers for people with dementia are employed either full or part time. One 2011 survey estimated that caregiver absenteeism costs the U.S. economy $25.2 billion in lost productivity.

Given the challenges that family caregivers face, it’s in employers’ best interest to support them with a variety of policies and resources. Read more >

colon cancer awareness blue ribbon

Prevent colon cancer with screening

by: Lisa Jessie, Senior Director - Strategy

Colonoscopy. Nobody likes the idea having one, of spending a day near the bathroom to prepare, of being sedated and subjected to the indignity of a scope inserted where the sun doesn’t shine.

But a screening for colorectal cancer can save your life by finding and removing abnormal growths before they turn into cancer. Did you know that 90 percent of this cancer occurs in people 50 and older? Current recommendations are for people ages 50-75 to be screened regularly. Read more >

Tips for comparing nursing facilities

by: Drew Hight, Marketing Manager

As your loved one ages, they might develop health complications that require professional care and attention. If they’re like most people, they prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Thanks to in-home care, adult day health centers, and other services, older adults can stay in their homes far into their golden years.

However, some conditions might require skilled care beyond the abilities of family caregivers. Nursing homes typically offer nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three daily meals, and assistance with activities of daily living.

When choosing a nursing home, consider several factors and ask lots of questions. Read more >

POA healthcare directive DNR guardianship

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 >

home care elder care caregiver

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 >