New Study Urges Policy Changes for Dementia Care

The RAND Corporation recently released a report detailing important policy changes needed to ease the burden of long-term dementia care. The organization noted that dementia care poses a substantial burden on caretakers and urges changes to how dementia care is provided. The study noted that 15 percent of people over 70 suffered from dementia. About a third of family caregivers reported being stressed by taking care of relatives with dementia, with much of the stress being caused by the financial burden. The RAND Corporation examined care data and developed five major suggestions. The report urged the following changes: Increased public awareness aimed at reducing the stigma associated with dementia and the promotion of early detection of the condition. Better access to long-term service and support, including home and community-based services. Better training for caregivers is also urged. Promotion of high quality care dedicated to the needs of dementia sufferers and their caregivers
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Technology Contributing to Greater Dementia Home Care Options

Improving technology will help dementia sufferers stay in their homes longer, delaying or even eliminating the need for residential care as home care options expand. Dementia affects millions of people in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow as the U.S. population ages. Dementia care is expensive, with the costs of residential care often consuming the assets of elderly individuals and their families. Finding more cost-effective ways to provide dementia care and solutions that allow sufferers of this condition to stay in their homes longer can help reduce this financial burden. Technological solutions that help people with dementia adjust safely to their condition can greatly help. A number of assistive technologies have recently hit the market and can help dementia patients stay independent. Some of these devices include way-finding devices, technology that promotes social interaction, online games, and puzzles that foster memory and health and other items. Monitoring devices
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Five Hot Trends in Elder Care

As the elderly population in the U.S. increases, elder care will become an increasingly important issue for our society. By 2025, the elderly population in the U.S. is expected to grow by 80 percent. Care industry experts predict the following trends in care for seniors: The Decline of Residential Nursing Care. Nursing homes are becoming a thing of the past as economic realities, improving technology, and the desires of the elderly are pushing toward more home and community-based care models. Nursing homes will largely be reserved for severely ill or disabled seniors. Assistive Technology. Tracking devices, technology that promotes memory and health, and robots to help with tasks are expected to become more common in senior care. This technology will help seniors, previously unsuited for home care, to remain in their homes. Senior-Friendly Housing – More homes will be built that have standard senior-friendly features, such as gently sloping ramps, protective floors, handrails, and m
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Staying Socially Active in Assisted Living

One of the biggest concerns many seniors have when going into assisted living is staying socially active. Interacting with others stimulates the brain and is important to staving off feelings of loneliness and isolation many seniors deal with as they age. There are a few ways older people can ensure they get the social interaction they need, even when they move to assisted living. Here are a few suggestions for staying socially active: Keep in touch. Take the time to write letters and make calls to friends and relatives. You’ll find it relaxing and entertaining. Participate in activities. Assisted living facilities have many activities seniors can participate in to socialize with their peers. By attending these activities, seniors can make new friends and get the social interaction they need to avoid depression and feelings of loneliness. Get involved. Assisted living residents have many opportunities to get involved with local groups and organizations. Get out there and get active,
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Dealing with Hearing Loss

About one-in-three people between 65 and 74 have significant hearing problems and nearly 50 percent of people 85 and older deal with hearing loss. Whether it’s mild or severe, hearing loss is a serious concern, as it can be a safety issue for us as we age in life. Hearing loss affects the lives of the elderly in many ways. It can cause them to become isolated, as their inability to hear what others are saying leaves them out of many conversations. It can also cause them not to notice noises that could alert them to danger, such as the sound of an oncoming vehicle or an oven buzzer. Older Americans should see a doctor about possible hearing loss if they experience: Difficulty in hearing over the telephone Trouble following conversations Needing to turn up the television to the point that others complain Frequently hearing what others are saying as mumbling Difficulty in hearing high-pitched voices If you are having trouble hearing, the medical professional to see is the otolaryngolog
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Maintaining Bone Health in Seniors

As we grow older, our bones become more brittle and prone to injury. Falls resulting in broken bones are frequent causes of serious injury for seniors. Maintaining bone health can reduce the chance of a serious injury resulting from a fall. Having healthy bones helps to prevent injuries such as hip fractures that can cause hospitalization, disability, or death. One of the most important things older people can do to maintain bone health and reduce their chance of injury is to get enough calcium. According to medical experts, women over the age of 50 should get at least 1,200 mg of calcium each day. Men over 50 should get at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily, increasing the amount to 1,200 mg after age 70. Adequate Vitamin D is also important to bone health. If you’re between 51 and 70, you should be sure to get at least 600 IU of Vitamin D each day. If you’re over 70, bump it up to 800 IU each day. Staying physically active is also important to bone health. Seniors should try to get
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8 Vision Care Tips for Seniors

Maintaining mobility and vision are two important tasks for seniors who want to maintain their independence. Good vision allows seniors to perform many daily tasks and avoid having to rely more on others. Seniors should be proactive to maintain their vision. There are a number of good habits and practices seniors can engage in to maintain good eye health, including: Getting regular eye exams. A good ophthalmologist can help correct vision problems before they become pronounced. Load up on the fruits and vegetables. Studies show that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help maintain eye health in older people. Protect your eyes. When going outside, particularly in the summer, put on a hat and some sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation. Avoid eyestrain. Be sure to take breaks from watching TV or working on the computer to avoid excessive strain. If you find your eyes growing tired or hurting while looking at electronics, turn them off, or leave the area to give
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