Preventing Falls: a home safety checklist

Caregivers, you may be able to prevent a serious “health incident” for your elderly relatives by simply printing this checklist and using it to evaluate your own home as well as theirs. (After all, home safety is important for all ages!) Throw away throw rugs Even when rugs are carefully taped down, they are a potential tripping hazard. Walkers, canes, crutches, and shoe heels can easily catch on the edges or corners, and the results can be painful. Even bed skirts and shower curtains that are too long, or coat hooks that are hung too low can lead to dangerous entanglements. Clean up clutter Children’s toys, piles of books, half-finished projects, half-dirty laundry, dormant sports equipment — all should be cleared from floors and stairways. The only thing on your stairways should be a small, lightweight, handled basket — one at the top and one at the bottom. When you need to bring something upstairs or downstairs, put it in the basket, and slide the handle over your arm. This leaves your other hand free to grab the stair rail. Get a grip All stairways should have sturdy handrails. Even if you don’t think you’ll use them now, at some […]

Avoiding Prescription Problems

If you are an average person over 55, you may be taking up to 8 different medications every day. That’s a statistic widely reported by Paula Span, who writes The New Old Age blog for the New York Times. Juggling that many medications requires extra attention. Seniors who are also caring for their parents and all their prescriptions may find these tips helpful: Be aware of language There is no standardized wording for prescription instructions, so different doctors may be using different words to say the same thing. For example, the following phrases may mean different things to the average pill-taker, but doctors use them all to indicate that a medication should be taken twice daily: “Take twice daily” “Take every 12 hours” “Take morning and evening” “Take with breakfast and before bed” Being aware that different words can mean the same thing may help you simplify your medication schedule. In fact, you can ask your doctor for clarification too. When he prescribes a new pill, ask if you can take it at the same time as your other pills. If you take your completed Health Info Kit with you to each appointment, you can show your doctor your complete […]

Providence Life Services Commemorates 9/11 by Saying Thank-You Locally

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (September 2011) – “It’s challenging to commemorate a tragedy on the scale of what happened on 9/11,” says Richard Schutt, CEO of Providence Life Services. “But we didn’t want to let the tenth anniversary of September 11 pass without acknowledging it and thanking those who serve and protect us. Our local fire and police departments serve us so faithfully throughout the year. This week, our facilities all wanted to do something special to say, ‘Thank you for serving us,’ and ‘Thank you for serving America.’” Providence Life Services manages senior living and skilled nursing communities throughout the Chicago suburbs and western Michigan. Most of these communities had already decided to commemorate 9/11 in some way, but when they heard each other’s ideas, the plans gained synergy. Rick Molenhouse, Community Manager at Victorian Village (Homer Glen, Illinois), personally delivered “a note of thanks and a bunch of nice, quality steaks” to Northwest Homer Fire and Ambulance Protection District Station #2 in Homer Glen. Mary Soule, Community Relations Director for Royal Park Place and Royal Atrium Inn (Zeeland, Michigan), is planning to gather some residents and have them deliver dinner or hot snacks, along with their personal thanks to Fire Chief […]

The Beauty of Aging:
more than skin deep

Page through a magazine or watch any amount of TV, and you may notice advertisements for skin products claiming to “reverse the effects of aging” and “take years off your appearance.” People buy these products (even though the claims do not stand up to scientific scrutiny) because they believe that youth is more beautiful than age. But the Bible (and many cultures outside of America) expresses great reverence for the elderly. In Leviticus 19:32, God tells us, “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” Getting old is an honor! So the following four tips will not promise to make you look younger. Instead, they will help you maintain the health of your skin, which can be an indication of good health in general, and they will encourage you to celebrate the beauty of aging! 1. Age Spots If you’ve spent much time in the sun throughout your life, you are more likely to notice age spots, liver spots, or solar lentigines on your skin as you enter your 40s and 50s. These spots are simply masses of pigmentation, your skin’s defense against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. […]