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Falls Are Serious and Costly for Seniors

This is the post excerpt.

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2004 - 2013, United States Unintentional Fall Death Rates per 100,000 All Races, Both Sexes, Ages 65+  Source: www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars 2004: 41.15, 2005: 43.12, 2006: 44.8, 2007: 48.47, 2008: 50.91, 2009: 51.54, 2010: 53.76, 2011: 55.36, 2012: 56.07, 2013: 56.96

My wife’s friend fell in her apartment and couldn’t get up or reach her phone. Two days later, her friend realized that something was amiss and called the Emergency Services, who had to get in through the third floor window to rescue her. She was hospitalized for ten days, and the doctor said that one more day would have killed her.

My wife fell on the curb on her way to Aqua Fit.  She couldn’t get up! She didn’t have her phone with her. She had to wait until a caring passing motorist and his wife stopped and helped her.

  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
  • Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
  • Each year at least 250,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $34 billion annually. 

What Can Happen After a Fall?

Many falls do not cause injuries. But one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own.

  • Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures.
  • Falls can cause head injuries. These can be very serious, especially if the person is taking certain medicines (like blood thinners). An older person who falls and hits their head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury.
  • Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.

We have the solution for you – see IPSSafety.com 

 

 

The Price of Getting Old

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From The Money Template:

Elderly Care Costs and the Price of Growing Old

One of the most often overlooked aspects of retirement planning is the burden of elderly care costs. All too often most people assume they will pass on or before the average age of life expectancy. Or sometimes they simply forget that their bodies will be weaker and they will likely require additional funding to cover expenses they don’t deal with currently. Unfortunately, however, the amount of extra money needed for proper elderly care is nothing short of significant.

US Statistics for Elderly Care Costs:

The following is a select list of the statistics from the Administration on Aging:

• The older population (65+) numbered 40.4 million in 2010, an increase of 5.4 million or 15.3% since 2000.

Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.8 years (20.0 years for females and 17.3 years for males).

• Older women outnumber older men at 23.0 million older women to 17.5 million older men.

• Older men were much more likely to be married than older women–72% of men vs. 42% of women. 40% older women in 2010 were widows.

About 29% (11.3 million) of non-institutionalized older persons live alone (8.1 million women, 3.2 million men).

Almost half of older women (47%) age 75+ live alone.

• About 485,000 grandparents aged 65 or more had the primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.

• The population 65 and over has increased from 35 million in 2000 to 40 million in 2010 (a 15% increase) and is projected to increase to 55 million in 2020 (a 36% increase for that decade).

• The 85+ population is projected to increase from 5.5 million in 2010 and then to 6.6 million in 2020 (19%) for that decade.

• Minority populations have increased from 5.7 million in 2000 (16.3% of the elderly population) to 8.1 million in 2010 (20% of the elderly) and are projected to increase to 13.1 million in 2020 (24% of the elderly).

• The median income of older persons in 2010 was $25,704 for males and $15,072 for females. Median money income (after adjusting for inflation) of all households headed by older people fell 1.5% (not statistically significant) from 2009 to 2010. Households containing families headed by persons 65+ reported a median income in 2010 of $45,763.

• The major sources of income as reported by older persons in 2009 were Social Security (reported by 87% of older persons), income from assets (reported by 53%), private pensions (reported by 28%), government employee pensions (reported by 14%), and earnings (reported by 26%).

• Chance an individual will have more $25,000 in out-of-pocket continuing care costs: 1 in 5

• Social Security constituted 90% or more of the income received by 35% of beneficiaries in 2009 (22% of married couples and 43% of non-married beneficiaries).

• Almost 3.5 million elderly persons (9.0%) were below the poverty level in 2010. This poverty rate is not statistically different from the poverty rate in 2009 (8.9%). During 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau also released a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) which takes into account regional variations in the livings costs, non-cash benefits received, and non-discretionary expenditures but does not replace the official poverty measure. The SPM shows a poverty level for older persons of 15.9%, an increase of over 75% over the official rate of 9.0% mainly due to medical out-of-pocket expenses.

• About 11% (3.7 million) of older Medicare enrollees received personal care from a paid or unpaid source in 1999.

Sadness and Loneliness in Nursing Homes – and a Reprieve

electric-pedicab-for-passenger1Loneliness and Sadness are common in institutional settings for the elderly as well as the disabled. For Seniors, increased mortality, missing their relatives and late spouses, and boredom add to their emotional state. Today’s nursing homes are much improved from years past, with larger rooms, visits from pets, even gardens. Still, for many elderly people, the move to a nursing home represents the end of the road and a loss of independence. It’s a place you go to die.

Naturally, such thoughts can lead to depression, ranging from mild to chronic, which affects approximately 40% of nursing home residents, according to the American Geriatrics Society. This is three times the estimated rate in elderly people living in the community. Despite its prevalence, few elders in nursing homes will openly admit that they are depressed. Most nursing home residents spend up to 80% of their time alone in the rooms. They feel isolated, forgotten, “warehoused.” Some feel, many rightly so, that their adult children moved them into a nursing home so that they could move into Mom’s house with her grandchildren, or sell it, and many seldom if ever visit her.

As Marlo Sollitto writes, “Depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated — or treated as a “normal” part of aging. Because the signs of depression can mirror the signs of dementia, especially problems with focusing and concentrating, diagnosing depression in an older adult can be difficult.” Aging from 75 years and onwards is characterized by critical changes and turning points, such as the death of a partner or a child, increasing health problems, and the increasing need for care, and as our population ages, nursing homes are filling up fast.

A WELCOME REPRIEVE

IPS Safety Inc and the IPS Wellness Foundation have teamed up to provide exhilarating rides on our Trike Transporters. Seniors describe their rides as, “A break in the monotony, a feeling of being taken notice of, meeting new friends, the wind in my hair, being outdoors in the sunshine, a new experience, being spoilt, a special treat, feeling important, reliving my youth, a memorable experience, a little adventure, a real bike ride, a fun time.

Nursing homes can purchase Trikes or we can help businesses to donate Trikes to the nursing homes. Those making donations receive a heap of publicity and excellent public relations from joyful Presentation Ceremonies and they benefit from being permanently advertised on the backs and sides of the Trikes they generously donate.

Robin Elliott

Real Relief for Seniors in Residential Facilities and for Businesses that Seek a Great ROI on their Advertising Dollars.

 

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Visit any Nursing Home, Assisted Living, or Retirement facility for Seniors, and you will find that most Seniors spend up to 80% of their time alone in the rooms. Serious mental health issues are escalating as Senior population explodes and the pressure on these facilities increases, not because of the shortage of qualifies staff.

Loneliness, depression, feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and desertion, a feeling that they are being “warehoused and forgotten,” and that their family is “waiting for them to die so that they can inherit what’s left” are commonplace. Many of these Seniors seldom get any visits from friends and family. Some get no visits and receive no communication from “the outside.” Many Seniors live with constant pain, disabilities, and financial problems.

Seniors with dementia face additional discrimination resulting in a range of unmet needs including lack of autonomy and belonging—both of which are linked with interpersonal violence. There are many cases of real and imagined elder abuse. There are even suicides

Even in the high-end facilities, the elaborate meals and beautiful furnishings and surroundings that persuade families to part with vast amounts of money so that Mommy can be safe and happy – in many cases assuaging their consciences – don’t help much.

And so the non-profit IPS Wellness Foundation was born – to accept donations from businesses to purchase Trike Transporters that are pedaled by volunteers to break the monotony in these facilities, show that people do care, and provide unforgettable outings for Seniors. Photos are taken, balloons, fun, the open air, meeting new people – adventure – something to talk about for months. And rides can be regular when the facility owns the Trike!

What’s in it for the businesses that generously donate Trikes? Apart from the laudable philanthropic aspect, it’s the best ROI for branding, promotion, and ongoing advertising around.

It starts off with a bang – a joyous Donation Ceremony with balloons and fun for all, an official handing over of the Trikes to the grateful Institutions receiving them. Pictures are taken, music, and the press, Seniors, their Caregivers, the public, and dignitaries are invited. Applause and speeches!
 
The logo and name of the business donating the Trike are emblazoned on the backs and sides of the Trikes, (Generously Donated By) and the volunteers pedaling them wear the T-Shirts and jackets of the business. Wherever those Trikes go in the future, people we see and know that the Trikes were donated by that business, and that means ongoing acknowledgment and gratitude from the Seniors, the Institution, the Caregivers, and the public.
Robin Elliott

An Exciting Solution for Businesses and Seniors is Offered

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You and most Caregivers know that many of our Senior Canadians in Retirement Residences and Care Homes tend to suffer in the same way:

Isolation, Loneliness, Depression, feelings of Hopelessness and Abandonment. Many feel that the world has dumped them there, discarded them, and simply forgotten about them, that they no longer matter. Most spend the bulk of their day alone in their little rooms.

And their time in these institutions can last many years, waiting. Waiting for someone to visit them – someone who seldom, if ever, comes. Waiting for the next meal. Like the old British Television series, “Waiting to Die.” They see their friends dying off and being taken away to be buried, or taken away to the hospital, many, never to return. It’s depressing just writing this.

But cheer up, there is good news! A solution has been found and proven to work every time! Volunteers pedal Seniors around in bright yellow Trike Transporters (TrikeTransporter.com) – take them for a lovely, safe, invigorating ride instead of leaving them to languish alone in their rooms. When last did they feel the wind in their hair, riding through beautiful scenery behind a bicycle? Meeting new friends, being taken notice of, being spoiled, having their pictures taken? Something to talk about for weeks and months afterwards!

 

These bright, safe, easy to mount, spacious Trike Transporters are the best thing since sliced bread. Seniors love riding in them and volunteers love pedaling them! They are battery assisted, but even without the battery assist, they are easy to pedal with gears. Fun for all. They enjoy a comfortable, wide seat with a seatbelt, a canopy, and a screen to protect from wind and rain, a break in the monotony, that “Groundhog Day” existence, a way to forget their pain and sadness.  

IPS Safety Inc (IPSsafety.com) sells Trike Transporters (TrikeTransporter.com) that these residences can purchase, however many can’t afford the Trikes or haven’t budgeted for them.

We found a solution to that, too. The IPS Wellness Foundation (IPSWellnessFoundation.org) is a registered Canadian non-profit organization that accepts grants and donations to purchase Trike Transporters to gift to Residences and organizations that help and house the Seniors, Disabled, and vulnerable in our society!

But what’s in it for the caring businesses making these generous donations?

Well, it starts off with a bang – a joyous Donation Ceremony with balloons and fun for all, an official handing over of the Trikes to the grateful Institutions receiving them. Pictures are taken, music, the press and dignitaries are invited. Applause and speeches!

The logo and name of the business donating the Trike are emblazoned on the backs and sides of the Trikes, and the volunteers pedaling them wear the T-Shirts, caps, and jackets of the business. Wherever those Trikes go in the future, people we see and know that the Trikes were donated by that business, and that means ongoing acknowledgment and gratitude from the Seniors, the Institution, the Caregivers, and the public.

This is the best possible way to promote your business, your products, and your services.

Contact Us for more information

How to Prevent Dementia

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“Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk,” BBC News reports. A major review by The Lancet has identified nine potentially modifiable risk factors linked to dementia.

The risk factors were:

  • low levels of education
  • midlife hearing loss
  • physical inactivity
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • type 2 diabetes
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • depression
  • social isolation

One in three cases of dementia could be prevented by tackling risk factors such as education and depression, a large new international review estimates.

Here are some ways to prevent dementia. Ideally, we should start in our forties already, but it’s never too late to start.

  1. Give Your Brain a Workout Every Day.

Do puzzles, read, learn new skills, play cards, learn a new language. Learn to play a musical instrument, learn to play chess.

2. Take Care of Your Health.

Get a physical checkup. Lose weight. STOP SMOKING. Don’t drink alcohol. Eat healthy food. Your doctor can advise you on these things, too. Associate with health-conscious people. Build muscle to pump up your brain. Cut down on sugar. Enjoy daily cups of tea: Regular consumption of tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging.

3. Stay Active Physically.

We need regular exercise – 40 minutes a day, six days a week. Walking, riding a bike, dancing, swimming, running. Sit less – move more.

4. Sleep enough.

Enough sleep is essential for a healthy brain.

5. Reduce Stress.

Prayer and other spiritual activities, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises.

6. Balance and Coordination Exercises.

Dancing, yoga, Tai Chi, balance balls.

7. Stay Active Socially.

Don’t be isolated – join a club or a church or volunteer and mix with other people regularly. Get to know your neighbors, go outside. Make a weekly date with friends, reach out over the phone or email.

8. Live a Purposeful Life

Rush University Medical Center revealed a noteworthy connection between a person’s sense of purpose and dementia risk. Participants who reported the highest scores on the life purpose test were 2.4 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people with the lowest scores. Living a life full of purpose included things like feeling good about past accomplishments and hope for the future.

~ Robin Elliott

Dump Granny – Desert Dad – a Solution

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The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential reveals, when discussing the subject of the “Dump Grannies” and “Inert Deserted Parents,” that “there is an increasing frequency of dependent elderly people being left at hospitals, day centers, and nursing homes by relatives unwilling or unable to attend to their needs. Elderly people with financial means and their mental faculties intact usually have better choice and stability about their situation. The abandoned poor, infirm or senile may spend their last days as transients moved from one overcrowded government facility to another.

I have spent 31 years specializing in the business applications of Collaboration and Leverage. As a Senior myself, I can see how we can utilize these powerful concepts to support, empower, and assist our fellow Seniors when resources are in short supply and some of us no longer have the capacity we once had.

For example, I teach business owners, that every resource you need is already available through someone else, and that we all have something to offer in return. An elderly lady in England invited a young lady to share her home for companionship and help – a win/win situation – collaboration at its best. Some churches look after their elderly congregants as well.

Teaming up with others of the same age and younger, building strong, reciprocal friendships while you are able, and building a solid support group pays off. You have to reach out – be a friend to have a friend. Be proactive; “dig the well before you thirst.”

Seniors selling up to move in with their kids, who are happy to have a babysitter for their offspring in the short term, is seldom a good idea, since the kids you’ve been looking after will soon grow up, and son Bobby’s new wife may want to rent out your room, plus you may become a “burden” to them in your dotage. Think carefully before giving away your security, friends, and independence.

Robin Elliott