Tag Archives: AGE-u-cate Training Institute

Why Elder Abuse is a Public Health Crisis and Growing Worse

Elder Abuse is a serious problem that needs more attention from lawmakers, public agencies, senior care providers, faith communities and the general public.

The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that between one and two million elderly adults have suffered some form of elder abuse.  The main types are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, neglect and self-neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation.

Elders with dementia are thought to be at greater risk of abuse and neglect than those of the general population.  In one study, 20% of caregivers expressed fears that they would become violent with the people for whom they care for.  Some other alarming statistics:

  • 60% of caregivers have been verbally abusive with the person for whom they were providing care (Journal of Elder Abuse 2005)
  • Between 5 and 10% of caregivers reported that they were physically abusive toward the care recipients (Journal of American Geriatrics 2010)
  • 14% of caregivers reported that they were neglectful (Journal of American Geriatrics Society 2010)

Why the urgency to address this problem?   The number of people living with dementia is rapidly rising.  Families are trying desperately to cope with the emotional and physical stress that comes with caring for someone with dementia.  It’s frightening to care for someone you don’t understand.

We must do more to reach family caregivers, who currently account for the majority of elder caregiving in our country.  Caregivers are trying to juggle work, often raising children at the same time they are caring for elderly parents.   Elder spouses are often isolated and without the support of community services simply because they don’t have access to what might be available to them.

Caregiving can be a lonely, overwhelming and and often a hopeless journey.   Families need education and tools to help them cope with the uncertainties that arise when caring for someone with dementia.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th.  We are privileged to be collaborating with the Oregon Health Care Association to be sharing our innovative and cutting edge programs, Dementia Live™️ and Compassionate Touch® to family and professional caregivers on June 1st.   Caregivers desperately need a deeper understanding of dementia and practical tools to respond to behaviors.

We encourage everyone to step up in supporting our elders and caregivers and to stop the rise of elder abuse.

Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate Training Institute whose mission is to provide cutting edge training and education which creates transformative change for an aging world.

www.AGEucate.com;

 www.OHCA.com

 

Senior Living: Groceries on the Doorstep

Fresh produce in paper grocery bag inside kitchen
Fresh produce in paper grocery bag inside kitchen

Is it true that gone are the days of making a grocery list and physically heading to the store? Grocery delivery service is growing by leaps and bounds. Convenience and time savings are two reasons people seem to like delivery rather than tackling the task themselves. My reaction is mixed when I think about the possible impact on senior living.

I should note that I’m referring to relatively healthy older adults 75 years or better.  These folks have spent a lifetime making trips to buy groceries and I imagine most dismiss delivery as a luxury. Is going out to buy groceries time consuming? Yes. Does it take effort? Yes. Is it worth the trouble? I believe it is.

Sure delivery is convenient. But as a result, convenient may come with hidden costs: greater isolation, lack of variety and lack of physical activity. Grocery stores, especially in smaller towns or urban neighborhoods are social hubs.  Have you ever had the experience of running into someone you know at the store? I have. When seniors go to the grocery store, they stay in the collective consciousness of their community and remain a visible part of it.

As baby boomers age, they will likely take advantage of delivery from grocery stores and farm markets.  But I think we may be doing the elders among us a disservice to assume they want to jump on this trend.  There will still be plenty of senior living in our communities filling out that grocery list and heading to the market. At least I hope so!

Ann Catlin is a training and education consultant for AGE-u-cate Training Institute and the innovator of the Compassionate Touch® program. She supports AGE-u-cate’s mission is to create transformative change for an aging world by developing and delivering cutting edge training and education for senior care, healthcare, non-profits, and the educational community.

www.AGEucate.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caring Connections – What Happens When it all Comes Together?

VerbindungenIt’s a small small world in many ways. Those of us with a mission and passion to help others just seem to find each other. Caring people find connections with other caring people – it’s like magic!
We all know the basics of health 101: eat well, exercise, get proper sleep. Add to that the science of social connections. One study showed that lack of social connections is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
People who are connected to each others experience:

Lower rates of anxiety and depression
Higher self esteem
More empathy toward others
Are more trusting and cooperative

Each one of us this great sphere of senior care/healthcare/aging services have a mission. As organizations, obviously our missions are focused on the products and services we offer. But in order for us to carry out our missions, we have to connect with others with whom our own products/services can be enhanced so we can fulfill and further our organization’s mission. It’s just the way it works!

If we look at the analogy behind the science of social connections and it’s importance for individuals, I believe we can make that same link to the health of organizations and employees when the caring connections take place. The benefits of connecting for the right reason multiply.

Caring connections translates into collaboration, cooperation and doing the right thing for the right reason. Like individuals, when this is not practiced, loneliness, isolation and alienation sets in. This simply won’t work for those of us on a mission to care for others.

What happens when it all comes together? We all win! Those we whom we serve, our employees and the health and well being or organization.

Caring connections is a practice that makes us all better people; it gives us a mission beyond ourselves.

Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate Training Institute, whose mission is to create transformative change for an aging world.

www.ageucate.com

AAHHHH….. To Sleep Like a Baby Again. Is it Possible?

I know I’m not the only one munching on graham crackers and milk in the wee hours.  For those of you who sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed and energized… well let’s just say the rest of us are green with envy.

Good quality sleep is not overrated.  It’s absolutely essential to our health and well being.  According to Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, director of the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, “We now know sleep is an active process – all your organ systems behave differently during sleep, restoring themselves.”

During sleep,  our bodies are busy at work repairing itself, cleansing toxins, reducing inflammation.  And in recent years, research has linked higher risks of brain disorders, diabetes and obesity to sleep deprivation.

People living with dementia are certainly not immune to sleep challenges.  Disturbances can be caused by changes in the brain that cause restlessness,  urine or prostate problems, pain or discomfort, sleeping too much during the day, nightmares or environmental factors (for example external noise or feeling too hot or cold).

As dementia progresses, routine becomes more important to one’s feeling of safety and security.  This is certainly true with evening and bedtime rituals.  Not unlike what all of us should practice, here are a few reminders of what may help prepare for a better night’s sleep:

  • Light exercise in early evening, and wind down 90 minutes before bedtime.  Electronic devices should be minimized.
  • Dozing should be discouraged, as this may make falling asleep even more difficult.
  • Avoid tea, coffee, sodas or alcohol should be discouraged, as all of these can have an opposite effect, especially for someone living with dementia.
  • Make sure bed and room temperature is comfortable (cooler is generally better than warmer).
  • A regular routine of listening to soft music, a light back rub or applying aromatherapy lotion may be very helpful in creating a calming atmosphere that may induce sleepiness.

As more holistic therapies for sleep are ushered into person-centered care practices, less use of pharmacological aids will be needed.  Side effects of sleep-inducing drugs can have negative consequences on quality of life for those living with dementia and their care partners.

Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate® Training Institute.  Their groundbreaking program Compassionate Touch® is a practical and feasible means to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and crete positive engagement of elder, staff and family caregivers.  

www.AGEucate.com