Burdens of spousal caregiving alleviated by appreciation, study finds

The fact that spouses often become caregivers for their ailing partners is quite common in American life — and few roles are more stressful. Yet helping behaviors, which are at the core of caregiving, typically relieve stress, according to Michael Poulin, an associate professor in the University at Buffalo Department of Psychology. When discussing spousal care, the draining demands of caregiving and the uplifting effects of helping stand in apparent contrast to one another. But recent research shows that the time caregivers spend actively helping a loved one can improve the caregiver’s sense of well-being — and now, Poulin, an expert in empathy, human generosity and stress, is part of a research team that has published a study exploring why that’s the case. Their research […]

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Malnutrition Is Affecting Too Many Older Adults

What is malnutrition? It simply means poor nutrition. Malnutrition is related to an excessive or imbalanced diet (a diet that lacks essential nutrients) or can be tied to clinical conditions that impair the body’s absorption or use of food. Significant Costs Malnutrition is a growing health problem with real consequences to its victims and to our nation. It is estimated that disease-related malnutrition costs the U.S. $157 billion annually, with older adult malnutrition alone costing $51.3 billion a year. Malnutrition also creates a 300% increase in health care costs. Further, one in three hospital patients is malnourished upon admission and almost one-third of U.S. patients (31%) experiences declines in nutritional status while in the hospital. Malnutrition increases the length of hospital stays on average by four to six days. Also related to malnutrition is sarcopenia […]

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4-Step Response to Senior Isolation and Loneliness

We are social beings and require relationships with others in order to live healthy, satisfying lives. As we age, opportunities for interaction change. Loneliness can become a problem. Its presence, however, calls our attention to unmet needs that may be leading us toward dangerous isolation. Scholars are developing nuanced methods to measure loneliness. Ideally, a well-defined problem leads to more effective solutions for it. Step I) What Do We Know About Loneliness? Current research reveals a few key consensus insights: Loneliness becomes a problem that warrants attention when it persists and feeds on itself Loneliness is different from depression, though it can co-exist with it Loneliness normally waxes and wanes over time and responds to situational changes Loneliness is not determined by amount of time […]

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Hoarding Therapy Program

Too Many Treasures® HOARDING PROGRAM When your “treasures” become too much… We can help! The Area Agency on Aging is offering a 14-week Too Many Treasures® Hoarding Therapy Group designed to affirm, educate, and gently guide individuals who self-identify with hoarding behaviors. Therapy groups introduce participants to new information and techniques that help change current behaviors and thoughts regarding excessive acquiring and clutter issues. Participants must: Be 60 years of age and older Participate in group interaction and home assignments designed to help change current thoughts and behaviors related to their “treasures” Attend at least 12 of the 14 sessions Groups are located in Central Phoenix and Glendale and scheduled to begin in September. Registration Required, Space is Limited! For more information, call: (602) 241-5577 Online registration

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Arizona Caregiver Coalition Sponsor - FSL

10 Ways to Make Your Home More Safe

FSL wants caregivers to ensure homes are safe for their loved ones.  Each year thousands of older Americans fall at home, making falls the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.  Falls often occur due to avoidable hazards that are easy to overlook and fix. Below are a few tips to ensure your home is safe for your aging loved one: •             Remove rugs or use non-slip backing to ensure rugs don’t move •             Keep walkways clear of baskets, blankets, books, etc. •             Coil cords from a lamp or telephone, so you don’t trip over them •             Improve the lighting in each room to give your loved one better lighting •             Install grab bars in the bathroom and shower for extra support •             Handrails […]

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Caregiving benefits are within top 10 priorities for employees

A growing number of employers are becoming aware that workers are providing greater hands-on support to aging parents and other family members — and that employers can help through employee benefits, according to the report, “Caregiving Growing in Importance to Employers,” by the Northeast Business Group on Health in collaboration with AARP. NEBGH surveyed benefits managers from 129 U.S. employers and found that two-thirds (66 percent) agree that during the next five years, caregiving will become an increasingly important issue to their workers. Nearly half (45 percent) say caregiving benefits are within their top 10 priorities for employee health and benefit issues, while 12 percent say it’s within their top five priorities. However, 32 percent say they are unable to address the issue, and 11 percent say it’s […]

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Observation Status vs. Hospital Admittance

What’s worse for a senior than getting hospitalized and then having to go for rehab?  Learning that Medicare won’t cover your rehab because of a technicality. It’s one of the bigger messes in health care today, and despite recent attempts to fix it, many seniors still don’t fully understand it … until it hits them in the wallet. Observation Status vs. Hospital Admittance Fact: Medicare doesn’t cover rehab stays in skilled nursing facilities unless the patient was first admitted to the hospital and spent at least three days inpatient. However, more ER doctors are categorizing seniors for observation, not admittance. Seniors under observation not only pay more out-of-pocket for hospitalizations (it’s covered under Medicare Part B, not the more generous Part A), but are ineligible […]

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Become a Dementia Friend

Dementia Friendly Tempe is hosting Dementia Friends Arizona training sessions at various dates and locations, and is looking for local people to join in learning about dementia and helping people who are living with it in Tempe. There is no cost to attend. Dementia Friends is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the community thinks, talks and acts about the disease. A Dementia Friends training will help people learn about dementia and the small ways to help. From telling friends about the program to visiting someone living with dementia, every action counts. Wednesday, August 2, 10 – 11 a.m., Changing Hands Book Store, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe 85283 Wednesday, August 2, 7 – 8 […]

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Tuition-free art classes to care-recipients and their family caregivers

Arizona Artists Guild offers tuition-free art classes to care-recipients and their family caregivers. This program is designed specifically for older adults (60+) who have lost their independence due to illness or circumstance and rely on others for most of their activities of daily living. Perennial Picassos will receive the benefits of expression, social interaction with others, and the enjoyment of quality time engaged in a creative activity. Each group works under the guidance of separate facilitators so that they can meet and share with people in similar situations. Art is a great way to step out of your daily routine. The projects are designed to provide the skills needed for participants to engage in art activities at home between sessions. This is a great opportunity to learn something new, to express yourself, to tap […]

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5 Ways Seniors Can Avoid the Summer Heat in Phoenix

The human body is a magnificent mechanism!  Not only does it have an innate ability to fight off disease and dangerous bacteria, but also has the capacity to trigger physical symptoms in situations that could cause potential harm before they occur.  One such indicator transpires when we are overheated, such as dizziness, sweating, and swelling.  Unbeknown to most is that as we age into our 80’s and 90’s, some of our physical indicators because inept, such as inefficiencies in our sweat glands, which could be potentially fatal for an elderly individual in situations of extreme heat. For seniors residing in one of Phoenix’s many senior living communities, such as an assisted living facility or specialized Alzheimer’s Care Unit, there are staff members constantly watching and […]

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