Tag: Long Term Care

The New “Old Age” – How Old Are You Really?

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Age is just a number...
Age is just a number…

How old are you?  Loaded question, right?  But the bigger question for many people these days:  How  how old do you feel? The definitions of “old” and “elderly” are shifting, and there is almost a backlash against the terms in both social and scientific circles. When National Public Radio ran a story some time ago about a 71-year-old midwife that they described as “elderly,” readers were irate. Among the comments,  “She’s 71 and delivering babies…There’s nothing elderly about her.”

When It’s Time for the Talk…About Alzheimer’s

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Like any good son or daughter, chances are you have worked hard to nurture a loving relationship between your parents and your kids. A child’s bond with a grandparent is both powerful and rewarding. So what happens when the loving grandmother or grandfather no longer recognizes those beautiful grandchildren?lva_portraits_ellen1

 

 

Knowing that she can rely on The Lisa Vogel Agency to provide in-home care for her mother, Ellen Yerman can continue to focus her energy on being a great daughter.

 

 

 

Alzheimer’s disease affects family life in so many ways, but for children the impact is particularly unsettling. Sadness, confusion, worry, and anger are only some of the emotions children may feel. Those mixed emotions can play out in the form of physical complaints, poor performance in school, and social isolation from friends.

As with any situation, honesty is always the best policy, especially for those difficult but necessary conversations about the toll Alzheimer’s disease takes on loved ones.  In the simplest of terms, educate your kids about the disease and encourage them to ask questions.  Be sure to respond honestly to whatever concerns they may have, and encourage them to express their feelings.  It can be reassuring for kids to know that a person’s behavior is part of an illness and is not directed at them.

Maria Shriver’s own heartbreak watching her father, Sargent Shriver, suffer from Alzheimer’s led her to write a wonderful children’s book that gently addresses the subject for kids.  “What’s Happening To Grandpa?” highlights the challenges faced by families dealing with Alzheimer’s and how to keep communication open between the generations. The book reinforces the importance of awareness and acceptance among family members and friends. The National Institutes of Health offer a variety of resources to make the conversation easier with kids of all ages.

For many kids and teens, activities that strengthen family ties can help lessen the anxiety they feel about Alzheimer’s disease. Try one of the following:

  • Get outdoors. Go for a walk, garden, or rake leaves together.
  • Look at old photographs and share good memories of family members.
  • Create a scrapbook or photo album about your loved ones.
  • Keep a journal together about your family.

Remember, kids are resilient. Allowed time to process the information, they will come to understand its impact and will continue to shower their elderly relatives with lots of love.

Lisa Vogel is the owner of The Lisa Vogel Agency, a home health care agency providing custodial care on a live-in or hourly basis for clients who require long-term care, rehabilitation care, or hospice care. If you have questions about how home health care providers can work with Alzheimer’s patients in your family, call The Lisa Vogel Agency at 410-363-7770.

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THE LISA VOGEL AGENCY

10401 STEVENSON RD.
STEVENSON, MD 21153
410-363-7770 • F: 410-363-7771

 

Is it Alzheimer’s? Is it Dementia? Is it Normal?

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Welcome to our sixth segment in our sponsored series on elder care, written by expert in the field, Lisa Vogel, who owns and operates The Lisa Vogel Agency.  We’re all living longer, how will you — and your parents — make the most of that extra time?lva_environmental_4421

You may not be to the age where you’ve started worrying about losing your memory, but that angst is just around the corner and could be here for your older family members. It may begin with misplacing car keys more frequently, forgetting ingredients in a much loved recipe, or even confusing the phone number of a best friend.  That’s when the questions begin:  Is it Alzheimer’s?  Is it dementia? Is it normal?

Memory loss and brain aging are a natural part of getting older.  It’s a whole range of additional behaviors that may signal the start of more serious disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s and dementia are two very different disorders.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Helping the Elderly Battle the Winter Blues

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Welcome to our fifth segment in our sponsored series on elder care, written by expert in the field, Lisa Vogel, who owns and operates The Lisa Vogel Agency.  We’re all living longer, how will you — and your parents — make the most of that extra time?

old lady in the snow

The temperature keeps dropping, the snow keeps falling, and spring is two long months away.  For older friends and relatives, the battle against the winter blues can be all the more difficult. Consider these strategies to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy until the seasons change.

Call or Visit More Often.  The bigger one’s social support network, the better.  Make that extra phone call or stop by for a quick visit to older relatives and neighbors frequently in the next few months.

Let the Sun Shine.  Open the shades and curtains to welcome even the slightest rays of sunlight into your home. Exposure to sunlight boosts the body’s production of serotonin, the brain chemical that makes you feel happier.  If the weather is particularly gloomy, there is always light therapy. High-intensity light boxes can provide an extra bit of light to brighten your day and lift your mood.

Eat the Right Foods.  Forget the usual comfort foods. Go for foods high in Vitamin B and fish oils, both of which help to create serotonin. Make healthy carbohydrate choices as well, including nuts, beans, and lots of vegetables and whole grains, which also help produce serotonin.

Move It.  Even in the smallest of spaces, there are exercises to keep blood flowing and calories burning.  For seniors, look for exercises that can be completed easily at home or walk the mall or hallways of your residential living facility.

Meditate.   Inhale, hold it, exhale.  Try a daily dose of meditation through a series of deep breathing exercises. One minute in the morning and one minute in the evening can help you relax and clear your mind.

Find a Hobby.  Whether it is completing crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles, reading, organizing family photos, or writing poems, find an indoor hobby for the winter months that keeps your mind active and engaged.

If the winter blues are worsening to the point that a loved one has trouble getting out of bed in the morning and engaging in any type of social activity – even a phone call – then it may be time to seek professional help. Signs of depression include loss of appetite, fatigue, and difficult concentrating. Talk to your doctor or seek a referral if any of those symptoms persist.  Hang in there, spring is just around the corner.

Lisa Vogel is the owner of The Lisa Vogel Agency, a home health care agency providing custodial care on a live-in or hourly basis for clients who require long-term care, rehabilitation care, or hospice care. Learn more about ways to battle the winter blues with the seniors in your life by contacting the Lisa Vogel Agency at 410-363-7770.

20120810_jdavis_paragon_090_retouchlogo

THE LISA VOGEL AGENCY

10401 STEVENSON RD.
STEVENSON, MD 21153
410-363-7770 • F: 410-363-7771

 

Long-Term Health Insurance in the “Golden” Years: Do You Know the Requirements?

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Welcome to our fourth segment in our sponsored series on elder care, written by an expert in the field, Lisa Vogel, who owns and operates The Lisa Vogel Agency.  We’re all living longer, how will you — and your parents — live during that extra time?

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It may not top your list of New Year’s resolutions, but it could be one of your most important resolutions:  Learning more about long-term care insurance.  It is hard to believe that a whopping 70 percent of Americans 65 years of age and older will likely need some form of long-term care.  The term “long-term care” means the assistance an individual may need with chronic illness, disabilities, or other conditions on a daily basis or for an extended period of time.  That assistance can range from help with simple activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating to skilled care provided by nurses, therapists, or other professionals.

Employer-based health coverage will not pay for daily, extended care services, and Medicare will cover a short stay in a nursing home or a limited amount of at-home care, but only under strict conditions.  Where will that leave most of us?  Buying long-term care insurance to help cover potential long-term care expenses. Before you begin your homework on long-tem care insurance for yourself or your loved ones, consider the following:

•  If you are in relatively good health, policies are easier to attain and cost less.
•  Remember that insurance premiums may increase in the years that income is decreasing.  If it gets to the point where you cannot afford premiums, you risk losing all the money you previously invested.
•  Be realistic when thinking about the assistance you will receive from family and friends.

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