• What Exactly is Aging in Place ?

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    In plain English, aging in place means remaining in one’s home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one’s maturing years, and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich all our lives. It means the reassurance of being able to call a house a “home” for a lifetime. – National Association of Home Builders

    Seniors and baby boomers living at home: 3 Scenarios (Do any of these fit you or someone you love?)

    1. Aging in place without urgent needs: This group includes individuals who want to stay in their current home, are not experiencing immediate health/mobility issues, and prefer aging in place and universal design (see universal design page) conveniences.

    Example: A New Place to Grow Old

    2. Aging in place with progressive Condition-based needs: This group is made up of those with chronic or progressive conditions that will require special modifications for aging in place. These individuals are usually aware of their needs but meeting them is not necessarily urgent. Many have chronic conditions such as diabetes and lung/heart disease that challenge them.

    Example: Aging in Place: A Little Help can go a Long Way

    3. Aging in place with traumatic change needs: This group includes those who experienced an abrupt or immediate change that demands adjustments in the living environment for aging in place modifications and universal design.

    Example: My Life Changed in an Instant

    For more information, visit the Aging In Place website at: www.aginginplace.com

     

  • 90% of Hip Fractures in Adults 65 and Older are Caused by Falls…

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    According to the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90% of hip fractures among adults ages 65 and older are caused by falls. These injuries can cause severe health problems and lead to a reduced quality of life or even premature death.

    Another very harmful effect of a fall is that it can rapidly deplete your loved one’s bank account due to the need for additional care. In many instances with seniors, the biggest obstacle to overcome in making their home safe, is the reluctance to act in a timely manner. Many times the typical response is, “ I don’t think I have the need for help”.

    The good news is that with a little prevention and minor modifications to the home, seniors can live comfortably in their home for years to come. After simple steps, such as, installing grab bars in the bathroom or adding ramps into the garage or off the patio, most seniors would admit that they rely on their safety upgrades and wouldn’t want to be without them. And that gives them and their loved ones peace of mind.

  • Did You Know?

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    The U.S. Census Bureau states that the number of people 65 and older will more than double between 2000 and 2030.

    In Idaho in the year 2000 there were approximately 146,000 people 65 or older. The projected number in Idaho for the year 2030 is 361,000 persons older than 65.

    The number of people in Idaho who are 85 or older will increase by 160% between the year 2000 and 2030.

     

  • Here is an example of a House to Patio Handrail that I installed for a customer. This handrail is very strong, custom painted and totally weather resistant.

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  • Personal Emergency Response Systems

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    The Future of In-Home Monitoring

    By Hilary Gibson, Staff Writer, Today’s Caregiver, Caregiver.com

    No two caregivers are alike, and neither are their situations, yet there is one commonality which exists among all of them, whether they are caring for someone within the home, or as a long distance caregiver, and that is the constant worry about a loved one falling when they are alone. Injuries caused by falls are a common occurrence among the elderly. Studies report that 30% of people who are over the age of 65 (about 35 million Americans) fall every year, and that these incidences increase to 50% for those over the age of 80. It’s been estimated that at least 60% of all falls occur in the home, with another 30% happening in public places, and 10% taking place in healthcare institutions. There are also 26 million people with neuromuscular or cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, ALS and even diabetes who fall even more frequently. The data reported about those over 65 is probably quite conservative, since many of these falls go unreported, because many people may think that falling is a normal part of aging process, or because they may be unable to realize what has happened to them due to a condition such as Alzheimer’s. They may also not report a fall due to being embarrassed, or because they fear that if others know that they have fallen, their activities and independence may then be greatly restricted.
    Whatever the reasoning, the danger still exists for someone who has taken a fall, especially if they are elderly and alone. For those who are unable to get up from a fall, the amount of time they spend immobile will greatly affect the outcome of their health and rehabilitation. In other words, a fall that results in a serious injury may signify the beginning of declining health that may become an irreversible, downward spiral. Even 90% of the falls that don’t result in injury may have a detrimental impact on the health and well-being of a loved one. While the best strategy for caregivers can be found in forms of prevention, it’s still nearly impossible to know what’s really going on with a loved one when they are on their own. The next-best-thing to help caregivers in their struggle to prevent falls may be found in technology. While a computer or a machine may not have the physical prowess to stop someone from falling, they can be used to determine when someone has fallen, greatly reducing the amount of time the person may have normally spent on the floor, with their health situation rapidly declining while waiting for help.

    The latest in “electronic” caregiving technology can be found with the advent of the personal emergency response system or PERS. The way in which a typical PERS works is a person wears an electronic pendant, either around the neck or wrist, which they press immediately upon any type of emergency, whether they’ve had a fall, think that they may be suffering from a heart attack, or fear that an intruder is on the premises. When pressed, the pendant works as a transmitter contacting a regular telephone system, automatically dialing emergency agencies such as the police department, fire department, or even a family member or neighbor. This works well when a person isn’t unconscious and has the ability to communicate what their particular emergency is, but what about those who may fall and lose consciousness, or for those who may be having some other physical problem which renders them unable to speak and explain what they need? Some PERS companies are testing the potential for a new device which would actually detect the physical action of a person falling. Currently being utilized is a small, pager-like device worn around the abdomen and clipped to a pair of pants, or attached to a velcro belt that has a special pouch. The device must be worn around the torso in order to pick up the accelerated signals the body will produce when it is at an awkward angle, such as in the case of a fall.
    If you’re unconscious or unable to send the signal on your own, it will work the same way as if you had pressed the button on an emergency pendant: the belt clip device detects a fall, or the user can press the button for help, even if they have not fallen; the signal is then sent to the base unit in the home; the base unit calls the monitoring center; two-way communication between the base unit and the monitoring center will be attempted; the monitoring center will then call someone on the contact list; if none of the contacts can be reached, emergency services in their area will be dispatched. Still in its infancy, these devices have areas that are already being studied for improvement, such as the life of the battery, which has a short life- span presently, trying to somehow create the device to be waterproof so that it may be worn in the shower (one of the most common places to have a serious fall), and to also decrease the amount of false-positives (times when the device reports a fall that hasn’t really occurred).
    The sky’s the limit for the future of this device that will one day accurately detect when someone has fallen, along with monitoring other situations as well. Many of America’s top technology companies are presently creating and experimenting with thousands of pieces of remote monitoring equipment. One of the biggest challenges these companies are experiencing is that robotics, monitors, and machines are unable to recognize what would be considered “normal” behavior in each person, their activities of daily living, and/or any variations in their routine or environment. In order for technology to be able to detect these subtle changes in the day-to-day life of a human, a whole new level of development must be reached in creating and testing such adaptive devices. The long-term goal is to invent advanced computing techniques for automatic configuration, filtering, trending, adaptive modeling, and pattern recognition that will have the ability to perceive changes of interest to caregivers, ultimately helping to reduce their own stress level, along with providing a guaranteed safety mechanism. Another goal is for a successful device to have the same amount of cost-effectiveness as the current safety and PERS equipment has, as well as being just as easy to use. It will take some time to overcome certain obstacles, such as the fact that current motion sensors can only tell that somebody may be in a room, however, the identity of the person and their precise location in the room can not be definitively discerned. Also, while these new devices will probably rely heavily upon the use of existing security systems, the infrastructure of such systems will need to be greatly overhauled through highly improved technology, because they are presently set up to detect only simple events, and lack the ability to recognize complex patterns and trends over time.
    Some of the systems being tested are using wireless security sensors along with a security panel, and have all been proven to work well so far. These systems are easy to install and configure. The sensors used include micro door sensors, motion sensors, and door/window sensors. All sensors are battery powered and communicate with the panel wirelessly. Sensors cover three specific points in the home: 1) exterior doors, 2) kitchen use, 3) motion throughout the residence. Kitchen use is monitored with both motion sensors, and micro door sensors (small open/close detection sensors) mounted on the refrigerator, silverware drawer, and on a commonly used food cupboard or pantry. The data transmission uses a two-way page modem in the security panel, which pages all events to a central location using the two-way page network. Although some geographic constraints may exist regarding the use of the system and where it may be placed, the sensors located in specific areas around the home still provide easy installation and affordable data collection. The system includes a password-protected secure web-site that caregivers can use to check in on the homes of elderly or physically challenged loved ones. The door sensors work well if someone with Alzheimer’s tries to wonder from the home, and some of the sensors placed in the kitchen can actually help monitor a person’s eating habits, so that caregivers will be able to know if they are really getting nourishment, and more specifically, which foods they are consuming. The results from all this testing have built an exciting foundation for in-home monitoring of those with physical challenges, illness, or who are elderly. All of this will undoubtedly help to lower caregiver stress, as well as saves lives, and the good news is that this future of PERS is closer than we realize.

  • 2nd Annual Family Caregiver Conference

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    Friends in Action held it’s second annual family caregiver conference January 26, 2013.

     Stephanie Bender-Kitz, Director and her staff presented an action packed conference highlighting legal issues, health care, community resources, and for profit companies as well as non-profit companies displaying their products and serivces.

    Safety For Seniors was asked to participate with a display both.

    Congratulations to Friends In Action for a very successful conference.

  • Safety For Seniors WINS Sam’s Club and SCORE Award

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    January 23rd and the 24th I’m off to Dallas to receive an award with 99 other hard working entrepreneurs.

    Sam’s Club and SCORE(Senior Corp of Retired Executives) award a $1,000.00 Sam’s Club gift card and an small business educational seminar, all expenses paid, to Dallas, Texas.

    The local SCORE Treasure Valley, Boise, Idaho Chapter nominated Safety For Seniors for its business efforts and success.

    Thanks SCORE and SAM’s Club. If feel very honored and lucky to me awarded this gift and business educational trip to Dallas.

    Hopefully the weather will be above 10 degrees as we have been in the deep freeze for the past two weeks.

  • Safety for Seniors Trailer

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    Watch for the Safety for Seniors Trailer in Boise, Meridian, Caldwell, Nampa and other surrounding areas in the Treasure Valley – Idaho.

    We can perform a free in-home safety analysis to help you identify and rectify any possible risks! Learn More

     

  • Welcome to Safety for Seniors

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    Home Sweet Home doesn’t need to be an accident waiting to happen for seniors. Anyone can identify most safety hazards, a safety audit performed by Safety for Seniors looks beyond the obvious. Quite simply, Safety for Seniors can work with you to make your home safe from injuries and extraordinary medical costs. Let Safety for Seniors’ professionals install grab rails, ramps, and other products you need to make your Home Sweet Home safe for you.