Monday, January 14, 2013
New year, new vision: see clearly in 2013 SENIORCAREMALL (BPT) - The beginning of the year is the most popular time for eye exams and a great time to assess if your corrective lenses are the best fit for you. See 2013 clearly with healthy eyes by following these five simple tips from optometrist, Dr. Tamara Dunn. -- 1. Start with an eye exam Our eyes age and change just like the rest of our bodies, so it is important to get them checked annually. Even if you already have corrective lenses, ensure you are caring for your eyes properly with an eye exam. Beyond a simple vision screening, the American Optometric Association also recommends that everyone receive a regular comprehensive eye exam to detect potentially serious eye issues to support overall eye health. 2. Good health supports good vision As you kick off resolutions to "get healthy," did you know that you are also supporting your eye health? The healthier you are the better chance you have to avoid complications with your eyes. For example, eating a balanced diet that includes dark green vegetables with lutein like spinach and kale can help to reduce your risk of age related vision loss. 3. Protect your eyes in the sun Sunglasses are a fun way to accessorize while also protecting your eyes. Studies show that spending long periods of time in the sun without eye protection can damage your eyes. Eye care professionals recommend that you wear full spectrum UV-absorbent sunglasses whenever you are in the sun for hours at a time. If you wear contact lenses, remember that contact lenses by themselves may not protect your eyes from UV light so you may still need to supplement by wearing sunglasses. 4. Eye glasses or contact lenses? Vision is as unique as the color and shape of your eyes, so work with you eye care professional to decide which type of corrective lens - glasses or contact lenses - is best for you. According to the Contact Lens Council, 34 million Americans opt for contact lenses as they offer a convenient alternative to glasses or corrective surgery. Contact lenses also offer personally tailored options for design, regimens and materials to meet your needs. 5. Keep eye health simple The beginning of a new year is a busy time for doctor appointments. Ease eye-appointment stress by finding a one-stop solution for all your eye care needs. Independent Optometrists operate private offices located adjacent to nearly 3,000 Walmart Vision Centers and Sam's Club Optical Centers and provide comprehensive eye exams, lens fittings and prescriptions by appointment and on a walk-in basis. The recent launch of a new online and phone contact lens program by Walmart and Sam's Club also reduces prices on contact lenses from many top brands and delivers lenses directly to your home. For additional information on the new contact lens program or to place an order, visit WalmartContacts.com or call 800-741-LENS(5367), SamsClub.com/contacts or call 800-749-LENS(5367), or walk into any location with vision services. Visit Seniorcaremall.com for other great senior safety and health care products and services. Call us with any questions you may have. (508) 868-2801
Monday, November 12, 2012
Four Holiday safety tips for older drivers SENIORCAREMALL (BPT) - Trips to visit family and friends, nighttime drives to midnight Mass or to look at Christmas lights, emergency runs to the grocery store - driving is as much a part of the holiday season as gift wrap and Christmas carols. No matter where you live in the country, driving during the holidays presents some unique challenges. It pays to make sure both you and your vehicle are prepared to stay safe on the road throughout the winter. The experts at AARP Driver Safety offer some advice: Prepare for bad weather If you live in an area of the country that gets winter weather, take steps to ensure your vehicle is ready for snow. Have your mechanic check the brakes, hoses and belts, ignition, battery and all fluid levels, including the antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid levels. If you know you'll be driving through heavy snow and ice, consider putting winter tires on your car. Stock your car with emergency equipment that will help if you become stranded, including a flashlight, first aid kit, shovel, jumper cables, basic tool kit, a bag of salt, extra windshield wiper fluid, and an ice scraper and brush. Before you leave home, always be sure you have a full tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone and a functional spare tire, jack and lug wrench. Be aware of holiday volume Gas prices notwithstanding, the roads are always busier during the holidays. Shopping trips, local visits to loved ones and long-distance trips keep the nation's highways humming with heavier-than-usual volume. More cars on the road means you face more time sitting in traffic and more risk of a fender-bender or even a serious accident. To minimize the crunch of holiday traffic, try to travel during off times of the day. Avoid traditional rush hours when you're making local trips, and if you'll be taking a long drive avoid historically high volume days. Use GPS navigation to help avoid the busiest roads by plotting less-traveled alternate routes. Minimize distractions Holiday driving is full of distractions, from bright holiday lights that can be visually challenging at night, to driving with a carload of happy holiday revelers. Take steps to minimize distractions. Never drive and use your cell phone at the same time. If you must use the phone, pull over or hand it to a passenger. When driving with passengers, establish ground rules for behavior that won't turn into a distraction for you. Be at your best Finally, you as the driver are the most important factor in ensuring your holiday drive time is as safe as possible. Take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest during this busy time of year and by driving at times of day when you're at your best. Consider brushing up on your driving skills. AARP Driver Safety's course is designed to help drivers 50 and older refresh their skills and adapt to age-related changes to vision, hearing and reaction time. To find an in-person course near you, search at www.aarp.org/findcourse, or sign up to take an online course. Courses are available in both English and Spanish. Signing up for a driving course may also make you eligible for a multi-year auto insurance discount, and who couldn't use some extra money during the holidays? Visit to purchase products and services that will make life safer and easier for yourself or those you love.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Sandwich generation turns to technology to help take care of aging parents SENIORCAREMALL(BPT) - It's human nature to want to take care of those we love. In fact, nearly 66 million Americans are caregivers, who spend about 19 hours a week caring for a loved one, according to AARP. Many of those caregivers are looking after older parents who don't live with them. And while helping aging parents with everything from financial management to health care decisions is difficult enough, the challenges grow if the parent lives alone, either close by or in another state. Many members of the 'sandwich generation' - adults age 45 to 55 who are taking care of their own children and their aging parents - are turning to technology to make their caregiving role easier. 'This is an age group that's comfortable with technology, and they're used to employing it in their professional lives to solve problems,' says Geoffrey Nudd, CEO of ClearCare Online, a web-based service that facilitates communication between consumers and professional caregivers. 'They're finding that it makes sense to bring in technology-based solutions when they're facing particular challenges in caring for their aging loved ones.' Here are three tech tools that Americans are finding helpful when taking care of elderly parents: 1. Home security systems - These systems, once relied on solely to keep bad guys out of a home, are serving an expanded function for caregivers. Provided through companies such as ADT, these monitoring systems can provide caregivers with a variety of information, including: * Users can receive a text message to their mobile device that lets them know when the front door opens. This can be useful for people taking care of parents with dementia, potentially alerting them if the parent might be wandering outside the house. * Sensors placed on a medicine cabinet can let users know if the cabinet has been opened - or not. An unopened cabinet may mean a parent has forgotten to take needed medications. * Cameras in key areas of a home can live-stream an image of what's going on inside the room to any mobile device. Caregivers can see if a parent has fallen or is having a scheduled meal. 2. Homecare communication systems - This new technology aims at facilitating caregivers' efforts to help aging parents remain independent for as long as possible. Many adult children turn to professional home care agencies to assist aging parents with non-medical aspects of their care. ClearCare is an online software system that helps consumers stay connected with the professionals that aid their parents. Consumers as well as professional caregivers can use a mobile device (such as a smart phone or tablet) to access care schedules and view reports on the status of their parent's in-home care, and more. Visit www.clearcareonline.com to learn more. 3. Personal response and GPS - Tracking devices such as Philips LifeLine and those that use global positioning technology can help caregivers keep track of an elderly parent wearing such a device. To preserve the wearer's dignity, these devices come in wristband, clip on and pendant designs, and provide caregivers with information on the wearer's location. Even elderly parents who are independent enough to continue driving can benefit from GPS technology. Driving can be especially daunting for older people who often deal with age-related deficiencies in reaction time and eyesight. GPS technology can help them safely navigate to a new destination, avoid traffic congestion and even find alternate directions when facing a detour on a familiar route. 'Caring for seniors who need our help is a basic human instinct,' says Lucy Andrews, RN, MS and Vice Chairman of the National Association for Home Care, who uses ClearCare Online with families that she works with, 'Technology can support and make it easier for people to care for those they love, both at home and when they are far away from their loved ones.' Also visit www.seniorcaremall.com for technology products that will make life safer and easier for seniors.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Fall-prevention strategies Seniors can fall in love with SENIORCAREMALL (BPT) - You're only as old as you feel, which is great news for today's seniors, as 61 percent report they feel younger than their true age. But despite feeling great, the reality is that seniors may need to make minor changes to their homes and lifestyles to ensure they can continue to enjoy safe, healthy and independent lives. If you are part of this senior group, you're likely thinking, “Not me. Not yet.” But did you know that one in three older Americans falls every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65 and older. Don't worry - protecting yourself from falls does not always mean using a walker or wearing an alert pendant. Try these simple tips to protect yourself from becoming a fall statistic, while improving your home and lifestyle. 1. Get moving It's no wonder that 50-years-plus is the fastest growing segment of the fitness population. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise improves your leg strength and balance - both of which are important in reducing falls. Experts at the National Institute of Health recommend that seniors enjoy a combination of four types of exercises: endurance, such as walking, cycling or swimming; flexibility, which includes stretching before and after endurance workouts; balance, such as walking on a line or stepping over small objects, and strength, which is using resistance or weights to target core muscles. 2. Prepare your home According to the Home Safety Council, more falls occur in the bathroom than any other room in the home. But don't fear, adding safety to your bathroom can add exquisite styling as well. Grab bars are the most common bath safety product installed, and brands such as Moen Home Care offer stylish Designer Grab Bars with Accessories, which combine the safety benefits of a grab bar with common bath essentials. Options include a towel bar, a paper holder, a straight shelf and a corner shelf, making each item functional and fashionable. Plus, each is available in popular finishes such as Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Old World Bronze, to coordinate with the rest of your bath. Next, add style and peace of mind in the shower by adding a Fold-Down Shower Seat. Unlike traditional bath seats that can be intrusive, this wall-mount design from Moen Home Care folds down for a comfortable and secure shower seat to avoid slips and falls - yet folds up for a thin, compact profile when not in use. Plus, the teak wood and stylish metal trim will accentuate the look of even the most upscale shower. For more information about Moen Home Care products, visit www.moen.com/homecare. For the final step to your safety-upgraded bathroom, increase the amount of lighting. Researchers have found that by the time a person is 60 years old, he or she needs up to 15 times more light than when that person was 10 years old. Add higher-wattage bulbs or even additional lamps to the room for improved illumination. 3. Assess your medications Since boomers buy 77 percent of all prescription drugs sold, chances are that you take more than one medication daily. However, these remedies may have been prescribed by different doctors - and could unknowingly cause side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falls. Speak with your physician to ensure that your medications will not interact with other drugs. Programmed pill boxes are also a great idea to keep your prescriptions organized and help you remember what to take and when. 4. Eat right You are what you eat ... which is why a healthy diet is very important to older adults. In fact, healthy eating can reduce the risk for many conditions, including anemia, confusion, hip fractures, hypotension and wounds. Experts note that older adults generally require fewer calories in their diet than other age groups - but need more nutrition. Especially important to reduce falls is to increase foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D, such as milk and dairy, which help keep bones strong. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper eating is also essential, as added weight can cause instability, leading to falls. With these few simple updates to your home and lifestyle, you'll soon feel better about yourself and your home - and can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you're doing the best to reduce the risk of becoming a fall statistic. We hope these suggestions help prevent a future potential fall. Visit www.seniorcaremall.com for other fall prevention products, services and strategies.