Inside... Is long term care insurance necessary Ways to simplify everyday tasks How to deal with a wandering loved one Maintaining healthy brain function Exercise to keep you healthy, injury free
‘Old Red Barn’
Local author pens children’s book
Senior Lifestyles • Winter 2017 –Page 2
Should you buy long term care insurance to cover future expenses?
here is no clear and precise answer to the question of whether you should buy long term care insurance or not. Naturally, different situations call for different solutions. The long-term care insurance inquiry is full of pros and cons and a slew of other ancillary concerns. In the future, I’ll address other critical topics that deal with long-term care since 70 percent of older Americans will need at least three years of it after turning 65. And since the cost of a nursing home stay runs close to $85,500 a year, aging Americans need all the information they can get. The reason anyone needs a policy is to get help paying for nursing home care or assistance doing everyday tasks like bathing, using the bathroom, preparing meals, shopping, and taking medications. This type of care is very costly. Check out senior care
Aging Matters By Carol Marak SeniorCare.com costs in your area www.skillednursingfacilities.org/resources/nursinghome-costs/. The biggest problem with longterm care insurance policies, you must buy it in advance. If you wait till you need it, you won’t qualify. Another issue, people have a hard time figuring out the type of care they might need in the future. You frankly don’t know how your health will play out. Health is not something to gamble with and to tackle the threat of possible devastating care cost is a significant challenge. And while long-term care insurance may not solve all the
care problems for everyone, you need a strategy to deal with the hefty costs of the expenses. People need senior care for two reasons; they’re in poor health, and they cannot take care of themselves, and secondly, they don’t have access to nearby friends or family to help out. Chronic conditions like dementia, advanced osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s require long-term care and the illnesses require high-cost care facilities. Since these types of diseases develop over time, it’s difficult to know precisely the kinds of care a person living with the illness will require. You may remember how your grandparents were cared for years ago. Family pitched in. I recall my mom sharing the care with her sisters. Each would take a day to cook and help grandma out. But today, families live at a distance from older loved ones. Sev-
eral years ago, the National Alliance for Caregiving found that 20 percent of the family caregivers have their elderly recipients at home with them. For the rest of the elderly, the only solution may be a nursing home facility. As you learned in the last two articles on Aging matters, Medicare does not pay for long-term custodial care that supports activities of daily living. And Medicaid may cover the expenses for those who meet its financial requirements, but benefits are difficult to obtain. Carol Marak helped her parents with long-term care concerns and were the creator of the Aging Matters column. If you have a question or need help, Carol invites you to visit SeniorCare. com and complete the contact form on the site. The address is www.seniorcare.com/ or www.seniorcare.com/ about/contact.php.
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How seniors can simplify everyday tasks Metro Creative The ability to perform everyday tasks is something many people take for granted. But as men and women approach or exceed retirement age, many may start to struggle with chores and tasks they have performed for decades. Physical limitations are a common side effect of aging. But such limitations do not have to prove too big a hurdle for seniors to clear. In fact, there are many
ways for seniors to simplify everyday tasks while maintaining their independence. • Embrace technology. Even the proudest Luddites cannot deny technology’s potential to make seniors’ lives easier. Seemingly simple tasks like shopping for groceries and vacuuming a home can be difficult for seniors with dwindling or limited mobility. But seniors with Internet access in their homes can order their groceries online
and then pick them up in-store or have them delivered, saving them the trouble of walking around the store. With regard to vacuuming, autonomous vacuum cleaners have removed the need to use traditional vacuum cleaners. Certain autonomous vacuums employ sensors to detect dirty spots on the floor, and these vacuums can even be programmed to clean the home while residents are out of the house. • Upgrade bath-
Metro Photo Aging men and women may find that technology helps them simplify their everyday lives.
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come difficult. But a few simple bathroom alterations can help seniors safely navigate the bath-
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What to do when a senior loved one wanders Brandpoint Virtually all parents have experienced the terror of looking up from what they were doing only to realize their child has wandered off. Your pulse races, your heart pounds and you can’t relax until your child is back in sight. As children grow up, they learn to stay put — or at least let you know where they’re going — and your fears fade. However, if you become a caregiver for a parent, grandparent or other loved one with dementia, you may find yourself having the same fear if your loved one begins to exhibit a concerning symptom of dementia — getting lost or wandering. The Alzheimer’s Association says six out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s experience episodes of wandering. The behavior can take many forms, from leaving the house with-
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out telling anyone to leaving and then becoming too disoriented to find their way home. Wandering can also occur at night, when a person with Alzheimer’s gets out of bed and wanders inside the house — or more concerning, goes outdoors — in the dark. “Wandering is one of the potentially most dangerous symptoms of dementia,” says Juliet Holt Klinger, senior director of dementia care for Brookdale Senior Living. “The Alzheimer’s Association notes that up to half of those who wander will suffer serious injury, or even die, if not found within 24 hours. It’s important for caregivers to understand why and how wandering happens, when it occurs and what they can do to prevent or minimize occurrences.” WANDERING | 10
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5 smart steps to preserving brain health Brandpoint Everyone knows aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping and lifting weights keeps muscles strong. But when it comes to keeping the brain healthy, most people are unsure what to do. As you age, brain health and maintaining memory functions becomes a top concern. Turns out, these issues may begin sooner than you think. “We tend to think about memory decline as an older person’s issue, but that’s not the case at all,” said Dr. Ai-
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mee Gould Shunney, a licensed naturopathic doctor specializing in women’s health and family medicine. “There was a study published in 2012 in the British Medical Journal that examined cognitive function in people age 45 to 70. The researchers did not expect it, but they found evidence of cognitive decline in the 45-year-old participants as well as the older participants.” She notes there are two basic pathological processes that cause degeneration of the brain: oxidative stress and inflammation. Basically, the standard American
diet and lifestyle contribute to those processes. So who is this really an issue for? Men and women of all ages. No matter your age, you can take charge of your brain health by following these five smart steps from Dr. Shunney: Healthy eating “A Mediterranean-type diet that focuses on whole foods, good fats and foods high in antioxidants is a great place to start,” Dr. Shunney said. She encourages her patients to focus on getting omega-3 fats from BRAIN | 11
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Local author immortalizes ‘Old Red Barn’ with new children’s book Anthony Victor Reyes/Daily News The barn that inspired the newly published book, “Hayropes & Hinges” by Caroline Faidley, still stands after 70 years. The barn, which is located in Prairie City, is currently not being used.
By Anthony Victor Reyes Newton Daily News Many people who were brought up working the land can attest the heart of the farm is the barn. But in an age of mechanized agriculture, barns across the nation are being abandoned and torn down. Local author Caroline Faidley hopes to preserve the memory of the iconic red barn in her new children’s book, “Hayropes & Hinges.” “It gives a little history of the past that is probably never going to be recaptured again,” Caroline’s nephew, Frank Faidley said. “People who grew up on the farm will think back about it.” Caroline, 92, has lived majority of her life on a farm. She was primarily raised by her
father, Gerritt Dykstra, after she lost her mother, Margaret, when she was 10 years old. “(Caroline) learned how to be a sharpshooter, how to shoot a gun. They spent a lot of time right on the farm,” Frank’s wife, Meg said. “She (also) did really well in school.” Caroline, like many others who were raised on a farm, had several fond memories working and spending time at the barn. “We loved the barn dances,” Caroline said. “(I liked to) square dance.” Caroline said she spent her days collecting eggs, milking cows and spending time with her husband’s dog, Stacey. “In the evenings, they would sit by the fireplace and (my husband, Wayne) would say, ‘Stacey, you think
it’s about time for a marshmallow?’” Caroline said. “He laid a newspaper on the floor, roasted a marshmallow under the fireplace and she would eat it.” According to Caroline’s nephew, many farmers have stopped using the barn. He said powered machinery replaced the jobs that were previously carried out by the animals that are typically kept in the barn, including horses and oxen. This has caused these iconic landmarks to wilt, rot and fall apart on the prairie. “Barns like (the one mentioned in the book) were (used) before they had a lot of mechanized machinery,” Frank said. “It is kind of sad, but nowadays, you can’t raise enough stuff in a barn to make it go.”
Anthony Victor Reyes/Daily News Local author, Caroline Faidley poses with her nephew’s wife, Meg Faidley. Meg, her husband, Frank Faidley, and his sisters, Maggie Jennings and Gaylene Otto, help Caroline publish the book in October.
With traditional barns fading out of the business, Caroline decided to publish the book to preserve the her-
itage and values the barn represents. BARN | 8
Senior Lifestyles • Winter 2017 –Page 8
Continued from Page 7 “We thought maybe she would want some of her other writings (published in the book),” Meg said. “She said ‘No, just the poem.’ That’s all she wanted in this book. (She wanted it) to be about the barn.” The Write Place, located in Pella, published the first edition of “Hayropes & Hinges” in October. It was illustrated by local artist, Cecillia Wilber. “When one of the ladies, (Ginger Wagaman) who is a good family friend, came in and read (the book) to her (for the first time), she started crying,” Meg said. Caroline originally wrote the book as a poem, titled “The Old Red Barn.”
In 1990, Caroline’s niece, Maggie Jennings, found the poem handwritten on a scrap piece of paper. The family then published the writing in a local newspaper in Prairie City. Since then, it has been Caroline’s dream to publish her rhymes into a book. “She has been wanting (the book) done 10 years ago, or close to it,” Frank said. “It was all her idea. We just kind just said ‘OK’. She enlisted my wife to help her do it.” Editor and manager of the book division at the Write Place, Sarah Purdy said the book is a great tribute to the Hawkeye State and Iowa history. “We are so proud to be a part of the production of this book with a local author and illustrator,” she said. “It is great to publish a book
that really takes place in our state, and covers farm life and an important part of our (state) history.” Caroline still cherishes the barn that inspired the original poem. It still stands after 70 years. “The barn is still beautiful, but now it is not being used for anything,” Meg said. Caroline said she wrote the book to remind Iowa and its future generations that the heart of farm is and always will be the barn. Best said in the book’s last verse, “Those times were just a tale of the past; but for the old red barn, they will last.” “Hayropes & Hinges” can be purchased on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble’s website. Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you receiving the best care for your medical problem? Brandpoint As we age, maintaining our health becomes increasingly important. For Baby Boomers and adults caring for older parents, better health depends on wellness initiatives and receiving care from the proper professionals. Yet for those suffering from wound, ostomy or continence issues, many don’t realize they are denying themselves the best care available. They receive care for these conditions from general nurses with-
out realizing that a specialized wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) nurse may be available to help them on their patient journey. What is a WOC nurse? According to the WOCN Society’s website, www.wocn.org, WOC nurses are “highly prepared expert clinicians who treat complex wounds, ostomy issues, and incontinence. WOC nurses serve in a variety of roles to assist patients, including educator, con-
sultant, researcher, and administrator.” WOC nurses practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, home health, and longterm care facilities. Certified WOC nurses received their training through accredited WOC education programs and have been certified through the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB). Only nurses earning this certification qualify as WOC specialists. CARE | 11
Anthony Victor Reyes/Daily News Frank Faidley, nephew of “Hayropes & Hinges” author Caroline Faidley, walks on the side of the barn that inspired the book.
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Senior Lifestyles • Winter 2017 –Page 9
Seniors and exercise: Tips to avoid injuries, get healthy Metro Creative Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Daily exercise can improve mood, promote an active lifestyle and reduce a person’s risk for a host of ailments, including diabetes and heart disease. Despite the importance of exercise, many people live sedentary lifestyles into their golden years. Seniors who want to embrace a healthier way of life and get more physically active should first consult with their physicians before beginning an exercise regimen. Certain medications may limit just how far seniors can push themselves, while preexisting conditions may make specific types of exercise off limits. After discussing their limitations with their physicians and developing a safe exercise routine, seniors can heed
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the foll o w ing tips to avoid injury but still get healthy. • Pick a partner. Whether it’s a spouse or a friend who is physically active or wants to be, try exercising with a partner, at least initially. Doing so can provide the motivation you need and partners can serve as safety nets should you need assistance completing an exercise or suffer an injury and require medical attention. Personal trainers can serve as your partner, and many gyms offer discounts to seniors on personal training services. • Start slowly. Seniors who have not been physically active for some time should take a gradual approach to exercise. Instead of heading right for the treadmill, exercise bike or elliptical machine, start walking every day. When it rains, find a treadmill you can walk on. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends seniors begin by determining how many steps they can take in a day and then gradually working toward 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day. Utilize step counting apps on your smartphone to track your progress. Apply the same
slow approach to strength training exercises, lifting only very light
your risk for injury. The AAOS recommends that seniors warm up their bodies before stretching with five to 10 minutes of low-intensity activity such as walking. Then stretch gently, remembering to relax and breathe during each stretch. • Switch things up. When strength training, do not work t h e
weights at first before gradually increasing weight as your body accl i m ate s to the exercises. • Stretch. Bodies that have been inactive for lengthy periods of time are inflexible, and lack of flexibility increases
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Wondering Continued from Page 4 Why wandering occurs To understand why your loved one may be wandering, look for a pattern, Holt Klinger advises. Does he wander at a particular time of day or night? Is she trying to communicate with you? Do they have an unmet physical or psychological need, like being hungry or thirsty, or feeling lonely? Is an undiagnosed medical problem, such as a urinary tract infection, prompting the person to get out of bed at night? Sleep patterns change as we age, and those changes can be pronounced and concerning for people with dementia. Your loved one may get up during the night because he or she has trouble sleeping. People
with Alzheimer’s may wake in the middle of the night and get confused, thinking that it is time to get up and go somewhere, such as work or running errands. Wandering safety tips Observing when and why your loved one wanders can help you take steps to keep him or her safe. Common coping strategies for night-time wandering include: • Help people with Alzheimer’s differentiate between day and night by making sure they’re exposed to plenty of natural light during the day. This can help circadian rhythms that dementia disrupts and age-related changes in sleep patterns. • Encourage at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, but not within four hours of bed-
time. Exercise can keep people more awake and alert during the day, and promote better sleep at night. • Discourage daytime sleeping by keeping people with Alzheimer’s engaged in meaningful activity. Allow a good balance between activities and rest. • Avoid serving alcohol, caffeine or large meals as bedtime approaches. • Encourage a bathroom visit right before bedtime. • Avoid screen time (white light) directly prior to bedtime and use amber colored night lights which do not disrupt REM sleep patterns. • Practice relaxation methods like a short, light massage, warm bath, hot milk or herb tea, or reading aloud. These activities are soothing and can help a person calm down for
better sleep. • For extreme wandering concerns, consider investing in a monitoring system that will alert you when a loved one gets out of bed at night. For daytime episodes of wandering, try: • Hiding car keys. This can prevent loved ones from leaving the house, getting in the car and losing their way. If your loved one’s car operates with a key fob, removing the battery or distributor cap may be another option. • Keeping doors locked. Some people with Alzheimer’s are unable to operate locked doors. At the very least, a locked door may provide a delay long enough for a caregiver to intervene. • Equipping doors with an alarm to signal when it is opened. This can be as simple
Simplify Continued from Page 3
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personal hygiene without fear of injury. Grab bars can be installed on shower walls so seniors can safely get in and out of their showers and bathtubs. Such bars are both effective and inexpensive, and some do not even require any drilling to install. Specialty grab bars, tub grips and tub transfer benches are just a few additional products that can make bathing easier for seniors who have lost or are starting to lose some of their physical strength. • Get “smart” on the road. Seniors who are experiencing mild difficulty driving can make getting about town that much easier by plugging
as putting a bell on the door. • Staving off wandering impulses by taking your loved one for frequent walks outdoors. • Occupying your loved one with a relatable, doable task that provides a sense of purpose. For example, if someone worked in an office, give her papers to organize. If he loves animals, have him brush the dog. “Sometimes, despite your best efforts and precautions, wandering can remain a concern,” Holt Klinger says. “If that happens, it may be time to consider a move to a senior living community that specializes in caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Brookdale’s Clare Bridge communities are secured and designed to promote a sense of independence, safety and purpose.”
their smartphones into their vehicles or making use of the various apps that have become standard in modern vehicles. For example, the maps app on a smartphone can be connected to a car and direct seniors to their destinations, saving them the trouble of remembering all the ins and outs of how to get a particular destination. Seniors also can employ apps to help them find their vehicles should they forget exactly where they parked in crowded parking lots. Such apps can increase seniors’ comfort levels on the road while helping them maintain their independence. • Downsize. Whether downsizing to a smaller home or simply downsizing a lifestyle, seniors
may find that living smaller is akin to living simpler. Empty nesters may find they no longer need several bedrooms in their homes, and moving into smaller homes can reduce their daily workloads while also clearing out clutter that can make performing everyday chores more difficult. Men and women accustomed to hustle and bustle may also find that cutting back on professional and/ or personal commitments gives them more energy for everyday activities while enriching the commitments they continue to maintain. Aging men and women can employ various strategies to simplify their lives and maintain their independence well into their golden years.
Senior Lifestyles • Winter 2017 –Page 11
Continued from Page 6 fish and monounsaturated fats from olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds. She also recommends increasing fruits (especially berries) and beans (they’re packed with antioxidants). What’s more, research shows a little cocoa, coffee and red wine can act as antioxidants and are beneficial in low to moderate amounts. Supplements In addition to a quality
Continued from Page 8 Benefits of a WOC nurse If you’re looking to better understand just how much impact a
multivitamin, Dr. Shunney recommends an omega-3 supplement. “Getting enough omega-3s is one of the most important measures we can take,” she says. “DHA is the dominant omega-3 in the brain. Just like we need to make sure babies have enough DHA to grow their brain, we need to make sure older people get enough DHA to keep their brains healthy.” She suggests Omega Memory by Nordic Naturals. It’s a DHA-dominant omega-3 formula that also includes oth-
WOC nurse can have, consider this: Research from the University of Minnesota shows that patients who obtain care from a WOC nurse experience significantly more positive outcomes than
er brain healthy ingredients: curcumin, phosphatidylcholine and huperzine A. Learn more at www.nordicnaturals. com. Regular sleep Poor sleep is a risk factor for cognitive decline. “Studies show both sleep deprivation and sleeping too much impact cognitive performance,” Dr. Shunney says. “A good goal is to go to bed around the same time each night, sleep for 7-8 hours, and get up around the same time every morning.”
Thinking activities “I recommend anything that keeps your mind working,” says Dr. Shunney. “Activities that require things to be arranged or puzzles that have to be put together. Crossword puzzles, word games and board games are all great.” She also notes some activities to avoid: “It’s important to limit certain activities. The constant scanning of social media and newsfeeds eliminates creativity and keeps us on edge. Limit the time you spend doing that and instead
do things that cause you to explore and think and put ideas together on your own.” Socialize “Social isolation has been linked with cognitive decline,” says Dr. Shunney. “In one study, people who were lonely experienced cognitive decline at a 20 percent faster rate than people who were not lonely.” Make time to take a foreign language class, join a Toastmaster’s Club, take a watercolor class — anything that connects you regularly to other people.
those who do not. According to the research, patients who receive care from a WOC nurse are: • Nearly twice as likely to have improvement in pressure injuries (bedsores).
• 20 percent more likely to have improvement in lower extremity ulcers. • 40 percent more likely to have improvement in surgical wounds. • 40 percent more likely to have improvement in urinary incontinence. • 40 percent more likely to have improvement in bowel incontinence. You can learn more about these findings and the other benefits pro-
vided by a specialized WOC nurse at www. wocn.org. How to find a WOC nurse near you While you may have never heard of a WOC nurse before, they are actually more common than you may think. There are more than 6,000 WOC nurses practicing across the country, and the WOCN Society’s website can provide you with the most accurate listing of WOC nurses
in your area. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask. You can ensure you or your loved one receives the care of a WOC nurse by requesting one from your medical provider. Don’t forget to make this request because there is nothing more important than your health. And if you’re dealing with a wound, ostomy or continence issue, you deserve the positive outcome your WOC nurse can provide.
Senior Lifestyles • Winter 2017 –Page 12
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