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The iPad – An Eye Opener for Older Eyes

By Blog, Technology No Comments


“To this technology-ninny it’s clear

In my compromised 100th year,
That to read and to write
Are again within sight
Of this Apple iPad pioneer”

– Virginia Campbell, 99
Mary’s Woods Retirement Community in Lake Oswego, Ore.

Ms. Campbell, still going strong and closing in on her 100th year, has glaucoma making it difficult for her to read … until her daughter gave her an iPad!

Afterall this is the year of the tablet, and many seniors see better with tablets’ adjustable type size. Reading becomes easier again. Recent research based on tests conducted with 66 adults age 50 and over has shown that older people read faster when using an iPad, compared to a newspaper with the same 10-point font size .

When the font was increased to 18 points — easy to do on an iPad — reading speed increased to 137 words per minute.

What makes the real difference is the illuminated screen of tablets, which heightens contrast between words and the background. As we age, this contrast sensitivity decreases making it a struggle to read fine print.

There are other eye conditions that come with age, of course, like macular degeneration which prevents people from reading and staying connected to our world of ideas and imagination.

Not all older adults are like Virginia Campbell, sadly. They find digital technology baffling and simply do not feel comfortable using it. For them, a tablet may sit on a shelf and get little if any use.

Other caregivers, like Ms. Campbell’s daughter, are luckier and must be delighted with their charges’ response to this new technology.
It makes their job far easier!

LifeCall Medical Alert

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.


The Quest for Immortality

By Anti-Aging No Comments

How to live longer?
It really IS 10% genes, the rest LIFESTYLE!

Recently CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta and world-renowned anti-aging experts discussed practical steps for living longer, and cutting-edge research that could dramatically extend human life.

Here’s their entire webcast:

Some of the highlights

  • Regenerative medicine could dramatically increase the life span of humans
  • Cutting out red meat and taking steps to reduce stress can help extend your life

One guru interviewed was author Dan Buettner who has carried out extensive studies to identify longevity hotspots around the world, documented in his book  The Blue Zones.

He identified 4 places where people live longest – Costa Rica, Sardinia in Italy, and Ikaria in Greece. What do these residents all have in common?  Answer: Diets low in meat, and lifestyles that meant more exercise.

Many Americans exercise too hard, says Buettner …
“The life expectancy of our species, for 99.9% of human history, was about 30 years. The fact that medicine has pushed life expectancy to age 78 doesn’t mean our bodies were designed for three-quarters of a century of pounding.

The world’s longest-lived people tend to do regular, low intensity physical activity, like walking with friends, gardening and playing with their children. The key is to do something light every day.”

The second anti-aging expert was Geneticist and Futurist Aubrey de Grey, the Chief Scientific Officer of SENS Foundation, which researches and promotes regenerative medicine.  He said that techniques such as stem cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue engineering could one day be used in combination to let humans live for hundreds of years.

“We can take people who are already middle aged, or perhaps older, and turn them back to having a lower biological age.”

Small Lifestyle Changes
Mr. Buettner notes that stress can have a huge negative impact on long-term health. Praying, meditating or even simply taking a nap can all act as effective stress busters, thereby protecting the body.

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

A Golden Age for the Brain

By Aging Brain No Comments

What do we really know
… about the human brain?

When Albert Einstein died in 1955 at the age of seventy- six, there was tremendous curiosity about the most famous brain of the twentieth century. An autopsy was performed on Einstein’s brain. Defying expectations that big thoughts required a big brain, Einstein’s brain actually weighed 10 percent less than the average brain!

Major breakthroughs in neuroscience are all pointing in the same direction. The human brain can do far more than anyone ever thought. Contrary to outworn beliefs, its limitations are imposed by us, not by its physical shortcomings

One of the unique things about the human brain is that it can do only what it thinks it can do.

The minute you say, “My memory isn’t what it used to be” or “I can’t remember a thing today,” you are actually training your brain to live up to your diminished expectations. Low expectations mean low results.

What if you could teach your brain to be unlimited?

In their new book Super Brain, mind/body guru Deepak Chopra and Harvard Medical School professor Rudolph E. Tanzi define the “super brain” and how to use your brain as a gateway for achieving health, happiness, and spiritual growth.

Great quote from the book ~

“Every day you step into the invisible firestorm of electrical and chemical activity that is the brain’s environment. You act as leader, inventor, teacher, and user of your brain, all at once.
As leader, you hand out the day’s orders to your brain.
As inventor, you create new pathways and connections inside your brain that didn’t exist yesterday.
As teacher, you train your brain to learn new skills.
As user, you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order.”

… and some surprising concepts gleaned from the book:

  • Alzheimers can be reversed (depending on how advanced it is when the victim begins trying).
  • Music lessons, exercise, other repetitive physical activity benefit the brain
  • Keeping busy and interested in life is essential to brain health
  • Why keeping a pet can save your life
  • The many benefits of cultivating your memory
  • Indulging your passion increases brain power

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

Alzheimer’s – Searching For A Breakthrough

By Alzheimer's Resources, Blog, Uncategorized No Comments

The statistics are astounding.  The demographics frightening.  The costs outrageous.

We are talking about Alzheimer’s, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the United States in 2012.

Advancing Medical Research
As the leading funder of Alzheimer’s research, the federal government is supporting significant new research into the causes of Alzheimer’s and finding ways to delay, prevent, or treat the disease.

Behold The Simple Grape
The newest clinical trial funded by Washington features Resveratrol, found naturally in the skin of grapes. Research shows that resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol may provide certain health benefits, but research on the health effects of resveratrol in humans is somewhat limited.

Find Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Clinical Trials

Fighting Alzheimer’s
The 2011 National Alzheimer’s Project Act requires the development of a national plan to accelerate research toward treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s, and to improve care, services, and support to people with Alzheimer’s, families and caregivers.

Learn more about what Washington is doing to help those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Progress In The Search For A Cure
The news on the Alzheimer’s clinical trials and research front seems to change on a monthly basis.  The latest progress concerns a team of researchers in Iceland who have discovered a genetic mutation that appears to prevent people from getting Alzheimer’s. This mutation slowed the production of a protein called beta amyloid in the brain.

This is an important finding, but it needs to be put in perspective.  The protective mutation is so rare that only one in ten thousand people carry it!

Alzheimer’s research is a dynamic field.  If you are interested in following this research, the Alzheimer’s Association offers one of the most comprehensive websites. Click below:

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

Why Private Duty Home Care Is Affordable

By Blog, Healthcare Providers, Home Care Agencies No Comments

Who Provides Home Care?
Big Differences and Why They Matter

There are different and varying models for home care services – the Private Duty/Home Care Agency, the Home Care Registry/Referral Agency, and the Privately Hired Caregiver.

The Home Care Agency
Home care services are best when provided through an agency that employs, trains, bonds and insures, and background checks its caregivers.

Private duty home care agencies are companies that provide home care aides, companion care, homemaker services and may provide nursing services in the client’s home. “Private duty” means private pay.  In other words, no government monies are used for the cost of care. The most common methods for covering the cost of private duty home care is through long term care insurance benefits, out of pocket, or other types of savings arrangement

The Home Care Registry
On the other hand, a home care registry is an organization that helps you locate a caregiver and places one in your home on an independent contractor basis.  Registries do not employ caregivers, nor do they take responsibility for their training and supervision.

A private caregiver or an independent contractor with a home care registry may be highly compassionate, lower in cost, and an overall good fit with the client, but remember you will be liable for the payroll taxes and possible work related injuries of the caregiver.

Hiring a caregiver who is not continuously trained by an agency that employs him or her creates a situation where you don’t know if the caregiver has the skills to perform the needed tasks.

If your family cannot assume the full range of responsibilities, you would be better off working through an agency.  If the family chooses to hire privately, you need to consult a lawyer and an accountant to assure that they make proper arrangements for all of their obligations.

An Affordable Option
When compared to the costs associated with a retirement community, private duty home care is a cost effective option. The average annual cost of one nursing home resident is $69,715. The average annual cost of one assisted living facility resident is $36,372.

Seniors who want to remain in their homes can often do so with a few hours of care a week. For example, 20 hours of companionship home care a week costs approximately $1,500 a month or an average annual cost of $18,000.

Long-term care insurance will reimburse you for whatever home care you choose, and of course you want your benefits to last as long as possible.

To find an agency in your area turn to the National Private Duty Association (NPDA), the nation’s leading association for providers of private duty home care. They have a searchable database to provide consumers with a comprehensive list of NPDA members nationwide.

Click Below To Locate The NPDA Member Agencies In Your Area

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

Aging In Place

By Aging in Place, Blog No Comments

What is “aging in place”?  Simply, it describes a cultural shift in which older people are choosing to stay at home, rather than live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

The National Association of Home Builders describes the term as:  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.

It Could Be Cheaper To Stay At Home
The average annual cost of nursing home care in 2011 was $86,040.  Hiring in-home assistance is cheaper—but still not ideal—with annual fees averaging $38,000.  But is it possible for seniors to maintain independence without completely surrendering themselves to someone else’s care?  Yes.  It just takes some determination and room-by-room modifications.

Solutions can be simple, no-cost or low cost changes to make your home more livable. Solutions can also involve larger-scale modifications such as structural changes.

Some low cost home improvements:

Enhance natural lighting
Improve lighting in bathrooms, hallways and staircases
Install lever handles on doors and faucets
Install handrails on both sides of the staircase
Use non-slip strips in the shower or tub

An Aging in Place Plan Is Not Just For Old People
Americans of all ages value their ability to live independently.  But without a plan for aging in place, it can be hard to stay in control of your life.  Knowing your health risks and financial options can make a big difference in your ability to stay in a familiar place.

For a complete list of home assessment tips, changes related to aging, safety tips, pointers on hiring help, and much more, click below:

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.