“Help! I’ve Fallen…but it’s ok.” Fall Alert Devices

Senior Citizen after a fall

Falls are a mostly avoidable situation.

A fall is one of the top avoidable medical situations seniors may have. Falls that don’t kill you can change your life forever. They are the leading cause of deaths related to injury for people age 65 and older.  With these numbers, senior fall prevention should be a priority for both seniors and for those with seniors in their lives.

In this episode I have a conversation with Sara of Alert Sentry. We discuss what their products can do to help senior stay active and how they can improve their independence.  She also has had a family member with Alzheimer’s so our conversation touched on that as well.  The founder of Alert Sentry, Glenn Maxwell, based the idea for their products upon an actual real life experience.  In 1991 his grandmother suffered a fall in her driveway — she lay there for 6 hours, until the mail carrier arrived and provided aid.

We don’t want something like this happening to us or our loved ones so it seemed necessary to have a conversation about how security devices.

Falling isn’t normal, so we should take every precaution to avoid them.

Senior Fall Prevention

Seniors can take a number of precautions to prevent falls.

  • Exercise regularly. Do exercises that will increase leg strength, improve balance and increase flexibility. Consider Tai Chi, yoga, and bicycling.
  • Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. You’ll want to reduce or eliminate those that cause dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Get your eyes checked by an optometrist at least once a year.
  • Lower your hip fracture risk by getting daily-recommended levels of calcium and vitamin D. and get screened and treated for osteoporosis.
  • Floors: move furniture that’s in your way. Use double-sided tape so throw rugs won’t slip. Pick up items that are on the floor. Coil telephone and electrical wires next to the wall. Keep items off the stairs. Fix loose or uneven steps. Make sure your stairway is lighted and have switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. Ensure stair carpeting is secure. Install secure stair handrails and that have them on both sides the entire length of the stairs.
  • Kitchen: Keep often used items in lower, easy-to-reach shelves or cabinets. If you have a stepstool, make sure it’s solid.
  • Bathroom: Put a non-slip mat or self-stick strips on your shower or tub floor. If you need it, install grab bars near the toilet and in the shower. Consider a walk in tub to ensure easy entrance and exit.
  • Bedroom: Make sure the path to your bed is clutter free. Install a night-light in your room.
  • When using a ladder, make sure both feet and at least one hand are on the ladder.
  • Wear shoes inside for better support and grip. Avoid slippers.
  • Get up slowly after lying or sitting down.
  • Consider buying an alarm you can activate in the event of a fall.

Summary

Senior fall prevention should be a serious topic for seniors and those with seniors in their lives. The statistics show that the problem is real and it can be serious. Fortunately, you can mitigate the risks with some preventative measures at home and exercise to strengthen your balance.

Avoid A Tragedy! Health Care Literacy Explained

Health Care Literacy image

Health Care literacy is increasingly important when it comes to navigating our health care system.

 

Becoming health care literate requires more than reading ability. People with limited health literacy often lack knowledge or have misinformation about their body and the causes of disease. Without this knowledge, they may fail to understand the relationship between lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise and health outcomes. People with limited health literacy skills may not know when or how to seek care.

Health information can overwhelm even persons with advanced literacy skills. Medical science progresses rapidly. What people may have learned about health or biology during their school years often becomes outdated, forgotten, or is incomplete. Moreover, health information provided in a stressful or unfamiliar situation is likely to be forgotten or confused.

Strategies to improve health decisionmaking include:

  • Improve access to accurate and appropriate health information
  • Facilitate healthy decisionmaking
  • Partner with educators to improve health curricula
What is health literacy?

Health literacy is the capacity individuals have  to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and the services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Health literacy is dependent on many factors:

  • Communication skills of patients/caregivers and professionals
  • Caregiver and professional knowledge of health topics
  • Culture
  • Demands of the healthcare and public health systems
  • Demands of the situation/context

Health literacy affects people’s ability to:

  • Navigate the healthcare system, including filling out complex forms and locating providers and services
  • Share personal information, such as health history, with providers
  • Engage in self-care and chronic-disease management
  • Understand mathematical concepts such as probability and risk

Health literacy includes some mathematical skills. For example, calculating cholesterol and blood sugar levels, measuring medications, and understanding nutrition labels all require math skills. Choosing between health plans or comparing prescription drug coverage requires calculating premiums, copays, and deductibles.

There is a lot to navigate when it comes to our health care.  The more knowledgable we become about disease, treatments and alternatives the better we are at avoiding emergencies.  Therefore this episode will help you understand some of what is involved and where to start. Becoming our own health care advocate is ideal, but there are multiple options of which you can take advantage.

Important Links

Part 1- Health Care Literacy & Advocacy

Live Better Boomer (Tiffany’s) Website

Affiliate Link To Favorite Things (Books I’ve Read & Suggest)

Health Care Advocacy for Seniors!

Image of what health care advocacy looks like in text

Becoming a health care advocate for our seniors is vital.

 

Managing your healthcare & treatment, and navigating a broken healthcare system is overwhelming. No matter how savvy and smart you are, it is easy to mishandle important aspects of care. Mismanagement can lead to disaster. To avoid disaster it’s important to learn about Health care Advocacy.  Doing so will greatly benefit you and your family.

Health literacy is the ability that someone can obtain, understand and process information enabling them to make good health care decisions,   During this episode I talk to Tiffany Matthews of LBB on “healthcare literacy”. Here you learn to get and keep the best care available. Becoming health literate is the first step in becoming a good advocate.

Tiffany Becomes a Health Care Advocate!

Tiffany and her family felt her Grandmother was not being well cared for by the “business” of health care . Having experiences in social worker in a hospital setting Tiffany believed there had to be a better way. Wanting to make a positive change Tiffany created LBB, or Live Better Boomer. She was going to advocate for the people left helpless in the system.

Health Care Advocacy is vital to patients in our current healthcare system. Advocacy helps keep medical costs down and decreases return hospital visits.  Patients who have a health care advocate get better care and have better outcomes. During his cancer treatments even Steve Jobs needed an advocate!

Four Tips from the Experts
  • If you can’t act as your own advocate, find one. Consider a family member friend, or perhaps a local volunteer.
  • Be prepared for all doctor and test appointments.  Write down questions in advance. Don’t let the doctor rush you.  If you have a lot of questions ask for more time or a second appointment.
  • Don’t feel rushed into decisions.  Your doctor may want to get you into treatment right away but allow yourself “a minute” to  research the best course of action.
  • Take notes and take someone with you, even if you’re acting as your own advocate.  It’s a good idea to have a second pair of ears at  appointments especially if you have a serious diagnosis. Consider recording your consultations but let the doctor know in advance if you’re doing this.

Listen and learn from my conversation with Tiffany.

Visit Live Better Boomer for more information

Don’t Forget About Two-Lap Books!

Link to Purchase Two-Lap Books

Special Episode – What Do You Remember?

Logo for Fading Memories Podcast

The logo of my podcast is an artistic representation of what I think losing your memories must be like.

 

This is a special episode of Fading Memories. It’s actually the first one I ever recorded. There is a lot of audio of various interactions I had with Mom.  I started Fading Memories because I was desperate to find ways to make my visits with her more meaningful.  Hours of visits where she asks me the same question over and over and over are not how I want to remember the last few years of her life.

The other motivating factor in starting Fading Memories was the realization that finding the information I needed was hard, time consuming and many times frustrating. I like to listen to podcasts while I work editing photographs, or while doing chores so I searched for a supportive podcast that would change my life.

What I found were technical, preachy, cathartic for the producer but impossible to listen to options. I didn’t need to hear uplifting music for 3 minutes or a 2 minute recitation on all the recognition a podcaster has gotten. That’s for your advertising not your audience.  Then one day while I wasn’t even thinking about Alzheimer’s or how to connect with my Mom it hit me. (Figuratively thank goodness since I was at the gym using weights!)  Why not start the type of podcast I needed. Surely there were others out there looking for the same help that I was looking for.

That’s when Fading Memories Podcast was born.

It’s been 4 months so far and it’s been a crazy ride already.  I’ve helped, informed and learned from every interview, conversation and deep internet research dive I’ve taken.  I hope to help and inform many, many others over the course of this journey.

I hope you enjoy this episode. It was a HUGE labor of love to edit into what I hope is a useful episode for you to listen to.  It’s different, that’s why I released it now.

 

Interesting Article on Podcast Listening

My Journey with Alzheimer’s (and why I started Fading Memories)

 

Fading Memories on Twitter

Alzheimer’s Podcast on Instagram

Our Facebook Page