|Posted on May 9, 2019 at 9:50 AM||comments (0)|
I have the honor to come in contact with a lot of older adults in the Loveland and Berthoud communities. One desire, that I hear over and over again, is a desire for real, old fashioned connection. It seems as we get older, our world gets smaller. Perhaps our families are busy doing their own “thing”. Our neighborhood which was once a place of strong connection is weakening as neighbors have moved or passed away. If one has lost a lifelong partner, then the loneliness can be even greater.
Our communities have worked diligently to create an environment where we can thrive as we age. There are many activities and opportunities for us to connect with our peers. And yet, for some, it just isn’t easy to drag ourselves out of our comfort zone into “the unknown”.
This is where a “wing man” comes in. It is amazing how much easier it is to do something new when you have a friend or a “wing man” by your side. I can tell you firsthand, that I feel pretty invincible when I walk into a room with a wing man, as opposed to walking in all by myself!
If you are an outgoing, social butterfly in our community who doesn’t struggle with loneliness, I would encourage you become a “wing man” to those in the community who are less social. Invite the single lady or gentleman down the street to accompany you to an event at the Senior Center. If they say no, keep asking. Invite them to different types of events, at some point, hopefully they will say yes!
In our fast moving, digitally connected world, it is more important than ever that we reach out to one another to connect in person. If you are reading this article and are interested in connecting, and don’t know who to reach out to, I invite you to reach out to ME, (Danita). I would love to meet you and see how we can get you connected into the community. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected], I would be happy to talk about options with you!
|Posted on July 28, 2018 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
I love it when an older adult or a couple make the decision to RightSize into Senior Living because they are REALLY ready to retire. They don’t want to maintain their home anymore, they don’t want to have to cook, and they want to be around others their age to have easy access to fun activities and socialization.
Unfortunately, sometimes RightSizing into senior living happens because of health issues. Meet JoAnne, she moved into Assisted Living because she was struggling with the side of effects of having had a stroke. Her daughter and I worked to find a couple of communities that would meet her needs, and begrudgingly she selected one to move into. One of her top concerns was that she was able to bring her two best friends with her, her dog and her cat. I am happy to report that they came along for the journey.
I wish I could say that it was smooth sailing from there, but it wasn’t. The first four months were really hard for JoAnne and her daughter. She continued to have some health challenges and she wasn’t particularly happy with where she was at. I talked with Joanne’s daughter often encouraging her, and discussing options.
It has now been nine months, and Joanne is settled in, has made friends, and has found her groove in the garden of the community where she lives. Joanne is maintaining these flowers and some tomato plants. Look at that smile on her face, it really says it all.
|Posted on May 19, 2018 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
The countdown to summer has begun.
With Summer comes large family gatherings, graduations, weddings, and family reunions.
If you have an older adult (or someone with physical or mobility needs) flying in for your Colorado event how do you accommodate them?
Having the right equipment ready for your guests can make all the difference in their visit being a true vacation, rather than a challenging time away from their home.
Mobility and More, located in Loveland, Colorado is a local, family owned medical equipment store.
They have been serving Northern Colorado since 2004. Mobility and More has a full line of equipment ranging from canes, reachers and walkers to lift chairs, wheelchairs, scooters and hospital beds.A majority of the items they carry in their store are available for short and long-term rentals!
In addition to medical equipment for the home, Mobility and More also sells and installs ramps, stair gliders, and auto modifications.
They also do repairs of equipment, and will even do house calls. Now that’s service!
If you are looking for medical equipment for someone living in Northern Colorado, or someone who is coming for a visit, we would encourage you to contact Mobility and More first.
As soon as you walk in the door and are greeted, you will feel as if you are part of their family!
They are located at 493 N Denver Ave in Loveland. Check them out at: www.mymobility.biz.
|Posted on January 18, 2018 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
Did you (or do you) have an older adult in your life that fondly talks about “the good ole days", reminiscing about their childhood, seemingly longing for the simplicity it offered?
While I look back on the simplicity of my childhood with fondness, I am thrilled to be living at this point and time in history. Technology has been a complete game-changer, and because I’m a bit of a geek, I get really excited about that.
Gone are the days of…
Home phones with long cords that you would stretch into your bedroom so you could have privacy.
Having to haul out the hard copy encyclopedias to look up information.
Having to get up to change the channel on your black and white TV, where you only had ten channels to choose from.
Going to the video store to pick out a video (once VCRs were invented).
Going somewhere to meet with friends face to face (as it was the only other way to connect other than the phone).
Having to leave your house in order to go shopping.
We Have seen…
Cell phones becoming our everything (communication tool, research tool, flashlight).
Internet, become the new window to information and the entire world (and beyond).
Going from supercomputers that took up entire buildings, to desktop home computers, laptops and now smartphones.
The television itself is now like a computer able to tap into the internet, giving us access to movies so we don’t have to leave the house to get them.
Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Match.com, and more, becoming a “normal way” to connect with others.
We now can have nearly anything delivered to our home, to include meal kits, clothing, household goods, you name it, you can probably purchase it online and have it delivered right to you!
Obviously, these are some of the simpler things that we have seen change. We most certainly live in an age of convenience; a time when the world is at our fingertips. We are a blessed generation to have experienced the simple pleasures of the “good ole days”, and yet we get to experience the world of “cutting edge technology” that has truly changed every aspect of how we live. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what is next.
|Posted on January 11, 2018 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
By Danita Nixon, Senior Living Advisors of Colorado
There comes a time in many older adults’ lives, when they realize that their current living situation no longer serves them. They find that:
• They want to be free of the burden of maintaining their current home (yardwork, shoveling snow, routine maintenance, etc.) so they can spend their time on activities they enjoy.
• Their home no longer accommodates their physical needs (steps, a bathtub and not a walk-in shower, etc.). Senior communities are built to accommodate the physical needs of older adults.
• They want to be more active and spend time with others their age. For some, being home alone leaves them feeling lonely and isolated. Rightsizing into senior living with all the activities available can make a huge difference in the quality of life for an older adult.
The best time for an older adult to rightsize into senior living, is when they are healthy enough to do so. Making this decision earlier rather than later gives them more control, more choices, and more time to make the transition.
Five Steps to Exploring if Rightsizing is right for you:
1. Contact a local advisor to help you explore your options. Most Senior Living Advisors offer their services free of charge.
2. Your advisor will help you determine your options based on your needs, desires, and budget.
3. Go with your advisor to check out the communities to see what they offer.
4. Determine if you are ready to rightsize into senior living.
5. If you are ready, your advisor will help you take the steps necessary to put the resources in place to make the move possible. If you are not ready, you at least know what options are out there for you.
While rightsizing into senior living can be a big move for an older adult, it can also be a move that will assist them in going from surviving to thriving!
|Posted on January 8, 2018 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT)?
We met recently with Occupational Therapist Kayla Bach, from Northern Colorado Therapy Services who was able to shed some light on the subject. She summarized, “Both PT and OT provide essential rehabilitative services to clients, and promote health, independence, and quality of life. The difference lies in each discipline’s unique approach to achieving that goal”.
Physical Therapy (PT) focuses on physical rehabilitation from injuries or disease, with the goal being restoration of mobility and strength. A PT may treat a patient through exercises, manual therapy, or other various techniques. They specialize in evaluating movement dysfunctions and will work with their clients to improve specific movement of their body, such as knees, hips, or shoulders. They are skilled in treating injuries by directly addressing tissues and structures that are causing the pain or problem. Additionally, PT’s work with their clients to prevent additional injuries, avoid surgery, and reduce long-term reliance on medications.
Example, an older adult needed to have their arthritic hip replaced. PT is focusing on the client’s strength and range of motion in their leg, as well as teaching the client how to walk again.
Occupational Therapy (OT) looks at how injuries, diseases, and disabilities are affecting a client’s ability to fully engage in their daily activities. It tends to focus more on daily life skills and participation in meaningful activities, such as self-care, work, leisure, and community involvement. They may use functional tasks as well as exercises to address their client’s deficits. An OT may make recommendations for their client to modify their physical environment or use adaptive equipment such as a shower chair or raised toilet seat to perform tasks more safely and independently. OT is unique in that is uses a holistic approach to treat the whole person, and considers unique personal factors such as roles/identity, responsibilities, and environment.
Example, an older adult with Parkinson’s disease is having difficulty getting out of bed at night to use the bathroom. The OT is addressing the client’s movement problems through targeted exercises as well as practicing the task in a real-life setting to determine a more effective strategy.
Occupational Therapy can often assist with the following needs:
Posture and movement
Independence with self-care and home management tasks
Home safety evaluations
Range of motion
Mobility in the home and community
Occupational Therapy assists older adults in remaining independent and in their home for as long as possible. If you have an older adult in your life who is struggling with doing things for themselves, you might want to look into OT for them.
If you are in the Northern Colorado area, contact Northern Colorado Therapy Services for a consultation at 970-658-0688. They will meet with you at home or in the office, and they accept both Medicare and BCBS. Check out their website at: http://www.nocotherapy.com/
|Posted on December 15, 2017 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
Definition of caregiver
One that gives physical or emotional care and support.
A majority of individuals who are caring for an older adult do NOT identify themselves as caregivers. They simply see themselves as fulfilling their role as a friend, neighbor, child, spouse, sibling, relative, or in-law.
The challenge with this is, that those who are supporting others (caregiving), need to make sure that they are taking care of themselves as well. Being a caregiver can seriously affect ones’ health, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.
When looking at the family caregivers who have reached out for support from the Office on Aging Caregiver Program, it becomes clear why “caregiver burnout” is not an unusual occurrence.
70% of caregivers are providing 24/7 care.
67% of caregivers are caring for those with dementia.
48% have been caretaking for 5+ years.
42% of caregivers are 70 years or older.
Many caregivers fall into multiple categories listed above, increasing the stress on the caregiver.
The good news is, that there is support available. One of the best places to start looking for support is at your local Area Agency on Aging.
In Larimer County, CO, that person is Lynette McGowan, Caregiver Support Program Coordinator. She is a passionate advocate for older adults
and their caregivers. She has spent thirteen years in this role, and prior to that, served as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Some of the amazing
resources she has for Larimer County caregivers are:
• Respite Vouchers - Money provided to assist with the cost of getting respite (a break from caregiving)
• Free Classes for Caregivers, providing valuable tools, support, and strategies
• Free Counseling for Caregivers (provided through CSU)
• Information on Caregiver Support Groups
If you are giving physical or emotional support to an older adult in your life, we encourage you this holiday season to give yourself the gift of
support. You truly do not have to go through this alone.
For more information on services in Larimer County, contact Lynette at 970-498-7758 or email her at [email protected]
Outside of Larimer County, you can google “Area Agency on Aging” to find an office near you.
|Posted on November 21, 2017 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
The holidays are the perfect time to check in with the older adults in your life, to make sure that they are thriving in their living situation.
Signs that an older adult may need assistance:
· They have lost weight, indicating they aren’t eating well or are having health issues.
· They seem like they haven't bathed, or washed their closthes.
· They seem depressed.
· Their home is not clean and is disorganized. This could be a health AND safety hazard.
· Their pets are having accidents in their home.
· They are exhausted from caring for a loved one at home.
There are options for in-home non-medical help to come in and do light housekeeping, laundry, cooking, bathing, companionship, and transportation. Having someone come in a few hours a week could dramatically change the quality of life an older adult has. For someone who is caring for an older adult, having non-medical in-home care come in, can give them a chance to go out and do something for themselves, giving them a much needed break.
If you feel like the older adult in your life could use some assistance, reach out to a local resource to find out what options exist. Helping older adults thrive (not just survive) in their living situation is one of the greatest gifts you could possibly give them this holiday season.
|Posted on November 15, 2017 at 7:50 PM||comments (0)|
Many older adults want to "age in place", staying in their homes until the end of their lives. One of the biggest challenges for aging in place is safety.
The commercial "I've fallen and I can't get up" has played over and over like a bad song that you can't get out of your head. The commercial hasn't changed in twenty-one years, but the safety device market most certainly has.
Home devices now include Medical Alert Systems, Medication Adherence Devices, Seizure Alert/Monitoring, and Wandering Prevention Devices.
While safety devices are easy to purchase online, the biggest challenge is making sure you've selected the right device, and that it gets set up properly. A safety device that is not properly set up is completely useless.
Interesting devices currently on the market include:
Fall Detector – A Safety device that automatically calls the monitoring company when it detects a fall. It doesn't wait for the wearer to push a button.
Wandering Detector - A GPS watch-like device that the individual wears and if they wander, their contact person is able to find their location and the direction they are walking through a Maps web portal.
Seizure Detector - A device that detects (and records) seizures, notifying the contact list when one occurs.
Medication Reminder- A device that dispenses medication on a set schedule.
The owner of Caring Solutions, Melanie Keech, has been serving Northern Colorado Older Adults for over thirteen years. She is passionate about helping older adults age in place safely, by matching them with the right products and systems to assist them in doing so.
For more information check out: Http://www.Caringsolutionsllc.com
Did you know...that some medical safety devices are covered by Medicare.
Call Caring Solutions at 970-206-9595 for more information
|Posted on September 3, 2017 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
This great event is coming up in Loveland on the 23rd of September.
We would love to see you there!
To sign up for the walk go here:
To sign up to volunteer go here: