Flu Prevention Tips for Seniors

It’s that time of year, when it seems that everyone seems to come down with a cold, cough, or stomach bug. But an illness that might slow down a healthy adult for a couple of days can be much more serious, even deadly, for an older adult with an already weakened immune system. Here are some prevention tips for seniors – and those who care for them – to help beat the bug this cold and flu season. Get the Flu Shot The flu vaccine is your best defense against influenza. Studies by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have shown that the flu vaccine can reduce your risk of getting the flu by 40% to 60%. Even though it’s not a perfect guarantee, it’s still worth hedging your bets, considering how dangerous the flu can be for older adults. Nearly 80 percent of people who die from the flu are age 65 and over – that’s a sobering statistic. That’s why most hospitals and nursing homes, including all Providence Life Services communities, require their employees to be vaccinated. And also why seniors should encourage their family and friends to get the shot, too – not only for their own […]

A Providence at Home Testimonial: “You really know they genuinely care.”

Since Lee Deutsche’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, he and his wife Mary Ann have learned to adjust to new challenges that come their way. Both were used to active lives involved in the political and business communities, but they had to step back and focus on health. The Deutsches chose Providence at Home when they learned that Lee would need home healthcare after his most recent hospital stay. “We didn’t know these people, and we didn’t know what to expect,” Mary Ann says. But they weren’t concerned for long. Lee and Mary Ann praise the professionalism and skill of Providence at Home staff, from the therapists to the home nurse to the CNAs. They noticed improvement right away, and they credit Providence at Home staff. “The advantage to home health and having therapy take place in your home is that you’re practicing in real situations,” Lee says. “You know what you’ll have to do on your own. You’re actually doing those things.” And the service they receive is not only physical, but so much more. “You really know they genuinely care,” Mary Ann says. “Sure, it’s not an easy thing for the families, but it can’t be an easy thing for the […]

Fire Prevention for Seniors

Fire prevention is a top concern for most seniors, and for good reason: the U.S. Fire Administration reports that older adults made up 40 percent of fire-related deaths. While decreased mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive functioning may all be factors in that statistic, there are several steps people of all ages should take for fire prevention in their homes. Smoke Detectors The National Fire Prevention Association says that most fire-related casualties happen when people are sleeping. Make sure you have a working smoke detector on each level of your home, and outside each bedroom. The good news is that smoke alarms have evolved; you can purchase ones that vibrate your bed or send strobe lights, and they can also be connected to an emergency response center. Choose the one that is best for your needs. It’s also important that your smoke detector is in working order. Check them once a month, and proactively change the batteries every six months when you change your clocks. Stop, Drop, & Roll! When you were a child, you were likely taught the basic fire prevention tip to stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch fire. This still applies as an adult! While our […]

Five Reasons to see a Primary Care Provider

When your calendar is already booked full of appointments, it can be tempting to skip your annual wellness check with your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Maybe you’re already in good health and don’t need any medications. Or maybe you’re already seeing several specialists who manage your chronic conditions. In either scenario, adding one more doctor’s appointment to your day may seem like an unnecessary annoyance. But Primary Care Providers are your first line of defense to help you identify health problems before they get out of hand. And when your medical team involves a complex network of specialists, your PCP can act as the quarterback, coordinating care and keeping an eye on the bigger picture of your overall health. Still not convinced? Read on for five reasons why you should book a wellness visit with your PCP. Primary Care Providers see the whole picture. Modern health care is complex – which can be a good thing. When you have a serious health issue, you want an expert on your health team who has deep knowledge in their specialty – like a cardiologist, orthopedist, or endocrinologist. But sometimes having a lot of specialists involved in your care can lead to fragmented […]

A Park Place Testimonial: “It’s easy to be active here.”

When Caryl Rohlfing’s husband Harold fell at home and injured his face, they decided they needed to move somewhere where he could get the assistance he needed. “He’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s,” she says. “We didn’t know how fast it would progress.” The Rohlfing’s chose Park Place of Elmhurst because it had multiple levels of care, allowing Caryl to stay independent and active, even as Harold’s need for assistance increased. “When we first moved in, we lived in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. We had plenty of space for two people,” she says. “Then when it became clear he would be spending most of his time at the Health & Wellness Center, I downsized to a one-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment.” Because they were both on the same campus, it was easy for Harold’s caregiver to bring him over for long visits with Caryl. “They have excellent caregivers,” she says. “Really great workers who care about the people they serve.” When Harold passed away, Caryl became even more active in the Park Place community, especially with their exercise programs, which she says give the residents more quality of life, and may even add years to their lives. “My health has improved as […]