Elderly Care Resources: Does my Senior need Help with Food?

Elderly Care Resources: Does my Senior need Help with Food?

 

In our community we do a lot of volunteer work with seniors and the elderly, and those who cannot get to or make food for themselves any longer. This is often an over-looked issue, as many people think that Medicare and Social Security will still cover these costs. And while in some cases that is true, in many cases, those funds are tightly wound up in everyday bills, medication cost, and the generally high cost of everyday living. If you are in the Fort Wayne area and have a senior relative or friend, please be sure to check in with them and see that they are getting enough food to eat regularly.

If you find that your senior or elderly relative or friend is struggling with this issue, there are some things you can do to help. First, check in to the Homebound Meals program, or your local chapter for Meals on Wheels. In Fort Wayne, our “Meals on Wheels” is funded by sponsors and donations only, and receives no government funding. They rely solely on volunteers to help deliver the local pre-made and medically tailored meal plans to any senior in the area who needs it. The meals are made at local hospitals and picked up by the route drivers minutes after they are made. With each meal comes a hot-lunch, and a cold-lunch, covering all of the nutritional needs of the human. It’s a simple sign-up, too, and no one is turned away. These meals are delivered at lunch Monday through Friday.

Another place to turn to for pantry-filling assistance would be your local food bank. Our local food bank, Community Harvest, has a SeniorPak program that is funded by the government and donations. They track seniors by their Medicare insurance. They do have other senior and elderly food programs as well, some with delivery, and others for pickup from the food bank itself. SeniorPak routes happen once per month and each senior gets twenty-plus pounds of food delivered in two large paper bags. With this program, the seniors are asked to sign that they received their delivery. This helps the food bank track who gets what and when, and ensure they get the appropriate funding in return.

The most important thing to remember is to check in with your senior and elderly neighbors. Some are too ashamed to mention they might not have enough to eat, and others too proud being brought up to deal with whatever the situation is. In today’s world, hunger should not be a concern of any one. Working together we can all assure that all seniors and the elderly have all they need to eat!

Elderly Care Resources: Senior Shopping Safety

Elderly Care Resources: Senior Shopping Safety

 

This blog was spurred by recent events in our local grocery store that effected many senior citizens while shopping. We felt that sharing was important, bringing light to the new ways people are continually taking advantage of the elderly. Senior shopping safety is an important topic as thieves are getting bolder and more daring by the day. Purse snatching and in-street (parking lots included) robberies are one of the most common crimes against the elderly population. Crime prevention for the elderly needs to be made the public’s job. We all need to do better watching out for each other.

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As I entered the grocery store to do my weekly shopping this past Friday, it seemed a bit busier than normal but just a normal almost-Spring day. Living close to numerous senior communities, the store is often filled with the smiles of the elderly, many of whom we chat with regularly. As I headed down the first aisles, I noted a man that seemed out-of-place entirely too close to an elderly woman who was perusing the juices. I thought I saw him touch her purse. Watching harder, he left the aisle, and she seemed okay. I shrugged it off. A few aisles later, there he was again, and his hand again touched an unsuspecting woman’s purse. As I was fifty feet from him, and he walked towards me, his hand dipped into another purse; however, this time our eyes met. He retracted his hand quickly and headed towards me down the aisle.

“Do you have a quarter?” He asked attempting to change the reality of the situation. He had no cart. He never did. No items. No basket with groceries. He wore gang colors, and had his cell phone out, idling all too close to anyone who he tried to communicate or interact with. He was getting too close to me. He had all of the signs and gave off all of those feels; the ones that tell you to run. I should have known, and I should have immediately done what was coming next. I loudly verbalized he needed to get away from me and abandoned my cart to hurriedly find management. Security swung in to full force very quickly, and this purse-pocketer was ushered into whatever dungeon they use to confine until law enforcement arrives. I stayed long enough to give my statement and continued on with my day. (I am sure it wasn’t a dungeon, but I told myself that anyway to ease some stress.)

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As I thought back on the day, I realized that many of the seniors I passed in the store aisles had their open purses in their cart, while they shopped with their backs turned. I noted some were counting their paper money with their wallets open, exposing the shiny credit cards in the high-bean grocery store lights. Their conversations usually sounded of their social security troubles and medical woes. I remembered back when my Grandmas were alive and nodded to myself a little. One would be talking openly about how much money she withdrew and had on her from the bank when the teenage neighbors came over. She never locked her door, either. The other was no better, participating in dozens of “fake” “charities” for years before anyone noticed. Myself included.

In this day and age, it’s best to be safer than sorry, and take all of the proper precautions necessary to keep yourself safe. There are so many things in this world and things can get confusing. Here are a list of helpful tips and suggestions to keep yourself safe when you are out shopping.

  • Just because a person smiles does not mean they are safe.
  • When shopping in public, make sure your feet and shoes are dry. Grocery store floors are very slippery when wet.
  • Do not open your wallet and expose money in public places.
  • Do not discuss money or banking loudly in public.
  • Do not shop at night, or be out late in the dark, by yourself. Go with a friend or family member.
  • When in public, keep your purse or fanny pack in front of you at your belly. This allows you to wrap your arms around it where ever you are. If your purse is not comfortable or equipped for this, consider a cross-chest style bag for easier carrying comfort.
  • Do not leave your purse in the shopping cart when you are shopping.
  • If you must leave your purse in your cart, consider buckling it in to the child locking seat belt, zipping your purse completely. This places another level of work for any thief to accomplish before getting anything from your purse.
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  • When leaving the store and heading to your vehicle, if you feel suspicious or afraid of someone in the parking lot that might be watching you, following you, or moving towards you; make sure to get a store employee to walk you to your car, and see you on your way.
  • Do not answer the phone if you do not recognize the caller ID or phone number.
  • Do not participate in mail “charities” and “donation” requests. If there is one you are interested in, consider having a family member verify they are leading a valid cause. Never agree to something like this while out shopping. Wait until you can research it for yourself.
  • Do not loan money to strangers or neighbors or people on the street.
  • Do not carry extra cash. Just take what you need.

Remember, being aware and paying attention in every situation is key. Know your surroundings and pay attention to your personal bubble. No one should be entering your personal bubble except your doctors, family members, and people you trust. If you are out shopping and something like this happens, find someone in management or law enforcement and report the issue immediately.

ECR Information: Pen Pals for Seniors

ECR Information: Pen Pals for Seniors

 

Have you signed up yet? To receive, or to reach out and be a pen pal? No?! Well, what are you waiting for?!

We first stumbled across the organization in 2017 after seeing a news broadcast about it, and loving every single part of their mission! Pen Pals for Seniors recognition exploded after that Fall broadcast, and our organization, Justice for Nancy, was quick to sign up. What is this unique sounding organization? It’s one that unites a group of people to help bring another group of people out of isolation, giving them friendship and hope. The benefits of this sort of organization for those in need include mental calm, health improvements, and better moods, to name a few.

With this program, seniors are able to sign up for a pen pal in their area, or someone with like interests. They can then exchange emails, or written letters, back and forth, opening so many doors, opportunities, and warm-hearted feelings for all involved. Pen Pals for Seniors has a legitimate database, so no one will be taken advantage of, or partnered with someone that makes them feel awkward.

See, there’s the thing… they market this as an elderly human benefit, when really, we think it’s more of just a human benefit, overall. After losing both of my grandmothers, and having all sorts of incredible family circumstances, I miss them more now than ever. Participating in this program, and the others that we volunteer with, help give me the connection to the past that I need. Plus, my children still get the well-rounded relationships from people of all ages, and seeing the smiles they help create in our senior community warms my soul. And the elderly we encounter weekly and monthly seem brighter and peppier when we are there. They are excited when we call, check-in, and visit. Such a simple way to make a huge impact in someone else’s life.

If you’re wondering how you can sign up to participate in this program, sign up to be a pen-pal receiving senior, or donate to one of their many card causes, just head to their website!

Just Click Here (It’s a direct link straight to their website!) Pen Pals for Seniors website or Facebook page.

Or if you’d rather copy and paste, here are the addresses:

Site: https://www.penpalsforseniors.org/about-us

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pals4seniors/

 

Thanks for visiting our site! We hope your 2018 is off to a great start!

Elderly Care Resources: Nursing Home Safety

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Elderly Care Resources: Nursing Home Safety

While there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the nursing home business is one of the top businesses to need a complete overhaul, the recent issues within the system are far too great to ignore. In our own dealings with nursing homes, we often find the gamete of situations from the worst, to the best. The best are often unrecognized nurses and certified nursing assistants who do truly care for the job and treat your family members like their own. Those are few and far between. The worst situations often involve those nurses and CNAs on the opposite end of the spectrum, who are only there because schools pay them to be, or the job was easy to acquire because of the high demand.

Another aspect of the worst situations is the business and governmental side of things, which we have all seen all over the news reports with the recent hurricanes and weather events. Because the laws, rules and regulations that exist within these nursing home walls have not been updated, there is no flexibility for your family member’s situation or needs. Major issues, whether it be mental or physical needs, are often ignored because the paperwork to address those needs takes too long, and will most likely be denied by the institution or insurance companies anyway. In our own situation, if certain mental needs would have been met early on, would the outcome of Nancy’s demise have been different? Would having better laws and rules about DNR orders have saved Barb from a year of vegetable-like living she never wanted? Would having set emergency plans for evacuation and power loss have saved the elderly in the hurricanes?

In the past two weeks, there have been incidents in two different states in regards to the safety of their residents. One nursing home began to flood in Texas during hurricane Harvey, floating all of its residents into one room to wait for days in chest deep, cold, dirty water for rescue. After their rescue, the facility blamed the State, who blamed the Federal government; and then the issue disappeared. A week later after the impact of Irma, another nursing home facility lost power in the intense Florida heat, and eight residents died, with multiple others sickened. The Florida facility even had access to the hospital across the street that had generators running, power, and cool air.

What is the excuse? Why are these the first places to be forgotten? How are the places and companies responsible for our family patriarchs and matriarchs being held responsible for their quality of life?

These facilities are making thousands of dollars per month off of each resident. Medicaid residents make them less than those with private pay insurances, so this leaves no question that there should be plenty of funds to cover the basic human needs, including emergency plans. If those very people who depend on Medicaid have to follow rigorous rules to stay in the program and prove their incomes and every other life aspect, shouldn’t the very companies that benefit, support and supply them have some responsibility in their safety?

Of course nothing in the nursing home industry will be corrected, or rectified anytime soon. Especially in a government where no one agrees, or stays on the payroll for longer than a week. Something needs to be done for the elderly in our country. It should not be that these great people are forgotten after they hit retirement age. They all worked hard for our country just as I am, as we are, doing now. I do not want to think of 80 as my nursing home sentence where the world and my family forget about me. I want to know that my life will be celebrated, and the good I did in the world is continued through my family. And maybe, just maybe, we will see change in the nursing home industry in our lifetime!

Elderly Care Resources: Seniors in Need: Everywhere USA

ECR: Seniors in Need: Everywhere USA

In the past few months, we have taken up volunteering and delivering food to home-bound seniors and the elderly around our area. It’s been a truly eye opening experience, and one we wish we could do every day of the week. As you can imagine, we have seen all kinds of people, in all sorts of circumstances. The thing is, they are all the kindest, nicest people you could ever come across.

So, what’s the trouble then? The trouble is that to these people we see, we give two brown paper grocery sacks full of “food.” Except that the food inside is processed, canned, non-perishables….and not really anything that’s going to keep anyone out of the hospital. That said, we fully understand that providing fresh foods and meats to everyone is just not possible, especially when some do not have a way to keep anything cold. Or in some cases, warm.

As a human, I can’t help but sit and wonder how we can make this change and get those who need REAL good just that—real, fresh food. The kinds that makes your body function and brain think to the highest of its power. The kinds that help bring blood sugars and high blood pressure down naturally, so eating 12 pills per day to combat and level sugar levels would be unnecessary. This year I’ve made our garden extra-large…more so than usual. I did this in hopes of sharing some of the most basic vegetables and fruits with some of the best people I’ve ever met.

We’ve had other blogs on volunteering and the importance of paying attention to your elderly neighbors, friends and family members. Any of them that you read will encourage your help! Please, consider helping your own local senior agencies! The need never ends!

VOLUNTEER! Because You Can!

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Elderly Care Resources brings you:

Volunteer! Because You Can!

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Over the past decade, we always seemed to find ourselves around the elderly and seniors. (And that’s where this web site came into play!) The fact is, we LOVE them immensely, and all of the things that they continue to teach us about life. It seems very full circle to have young children and the elderly working and interacting with each other on a regular basis brightens not only their world, but also gives children a clear view of real life, what’s expected, and what’s to come.

In our years of work and research, we always come back to a few very key points: seniors and the elderly lack the proper amounts of daily communication, interaction, and touch to properly function (Counsel of In-Home and Aging). It seems like something so simple to be able to rectify; a phone call here, a short visit there, or maybe lunch with them at their senior community. But what about those who are homebound and unable to leave, or provide for their basic necessities?

While doing a large food drive for our local food bank, Community Harvest in Fort Wayne Indiana, we learned more about the senior food programs and just how important they are to our community. In the past few weeks we have taken on a few delivery routes, taking non-perishable food items to seniors just like this. To see their faces light up when the open to door to smiling children is almost more than my heart can bear.

Consider signing up to help our local senior and elderly organizations WITH your children. Here are a few places you can do this around our area:

  1. Community Harvest Food Bank
  2. Aging & In-Home Service in NE IN
  3. Rescue Mission
  4. Charis House
  5. Franciscan Center, St. Anthony’s Food Pantry
  6. Check in with local nursing homes for NUMEROUS volunteer opportunities! Many love assistance with craft days, games, and strolling residents around the grounds on nice days for walks!

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Rates of STIs Extremely High in Senior Living Centers

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Rates of STIs Extremely High in Senior Living Centers

 

For those born between 1930 and 1960, any topics sexually related or covering intimacy are all but shunned. Folks from that time period were taught that they were to never speak about such topics, events, or actions, and that for the most part, they were only supposed to do “that” to procreate, or with their spouse. Because of this type of information, and thought process of the 50’s, many people are not aware of the dangers of sexually transmitted infections, diseases, or the things that one can pass to another even by sexual touch. Safe sex was not something that was taught, or discussed, thusly making all forms of protection available today essentially foreign to them.

Why is this a problem in senior living communities? Due to the lack of education and the greater lack of discussion, elderly people are coming together in these facilities to find some pleasure. I bet your mouth just fell open! It’s true. While they are not always engaged in the actual act of sexual intercourse, they are fingering, touching, groping, and providing oral stimulation to their community mates. This is a perfectly normal human need: to feel pleasure and intimacy. The statistics in our area (Fort Wayne, IN) are pretty shocking, as many would not think that these things are happening.

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The good news? Great news, actually. Boudoir Noir’s School of Loving Arts is preparing to debut a new series of classes to bring a certain sexual education into these senior living communities that obviously need it more than ever. These classes will discuss the taboo subjects of sex, intimacy, and the safety measures that need to be taken, even for these minor situations the seniors may be finding themselves in.

Why would we do these classes? In our classroom inside of our store, we have seen a rush of seniors coming to attend. In some cases, the nursing home transport van did the drop off, and pick up. This spoke volumes to us, and showed the need for such a program.

If you’re a senior living in a community that is dealing with these issues, maybe you should reach out for more information for your facility. Sometimes, posting informational posters or putting information in the newsletter is all it takes. In other cases, we find that directly addressing these diseases and issues can greatly reduce the percentage of transmission within the walls of the community.

Feel free to message our page for more details, or look for the School of Loving Arts on Facebook.

Elderly Care Resources: Helping in 2016 & Saying Goodbye to Nancy

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Elderly Care Resources: Helping in 2016 & Saying Goodbye to Nancy

 

Whether you’re doing laundry for Grandma, helping your elderly neighbor shovel his snow, or even helping a senior through the grocery store- it ALL counts, and in most cases, is more than appreciated. For those elderly who are living alone, missing their spouse and family, just the intermittent contact between themselves and friends can hold off the winter blues, make their gloomy days brighter, and help them find their smile once more.

There are things that you can do that support, empathize, and help the elderly. Volunteer to help them. Call them. Stop by and bring them dinner. Offer your help with laundry and dishes. Shovel. Mow. Clean. Offer help with transportation for those who no longer drive, or help them secure their own. Help them grocery shop. Help them budget, as many live on fixed incomes. Check in on them when it’s too cold, and too hot. Invite them places, to your parties and get togethers. Help them to know their neighbors.

In any case, any circumstance, and any situation- help can always be given. This year, make it a point to help an elderly person. We promise you won’t feel bad about it at all, and you’ll get more smiles than you could ever dream of!

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This past week, we lost my Grandma who was the victim of a home invasion attack that left her completely blind and reeling in 2014. Truthfully, we lost her days after the attack, but her physical being left us last week. If there is anything I can tell you about Nancy, it was that she was a giver. It didn’t really matter what you needed, because she would come through in the end. One of the causes closest to her heart was ensuring that people had enough food to eat.

Due to her attack, Justice for Nancy was born. Now that she is gone, JFN will be around doing charitable events in Nancy’s name every year. This year we are running a food drive that will be donated to our local food bank in Fort Wayne, IN. Doing this comforts us in not only doing good for others, but keeping my amazing Grandma’s name out there, so everyone can remember her kindness, too.

If you’re interested in seeing what Justice for Nancy is all about….just click this link to head to our Facebook page!

Elderly Care Resources: Bunions

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Elderly Care Resources: Bunions

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Bunions can be some of the most painful things a human can get, and can completely throw off your balance, your stride, and even the ability to walk. Normally occurring at the joints of the toes, most commonly the big toe, there can be swelling, as well as significant amounts of pain. Certain things can be done without seeing a doctor, but if the pain is too great, contact your doctor immediately.

Buying the correct types of shoes can help with basic daily function. Shoes with a wider toe box that do not put pressure on to the area where the bunion is will help. Also, seeing your Podiatrist, or Pedorthist, can help point you in the right direction. Pedorthists may offer more ways to help fix your bunions than going a surgical route, although in certain cases surgery may be unavoidable.

Recently we have begun to do some work with those at Summit Pedorthics. They are based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and service anyone willing to travel to their location. In some cases, the owner, and Certified Pedorthist, will travel with prior arrangements. If you ever have questions about your feet, they are the people to ask!

Check out their latest post about Bunions, in their new series titled, “Bunions, Calluses & Corns. Oh My!”

Check back for more articles, soon!

 

 

 

Mental Wellness Summit Notes: Kimberly Snyder

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Mental Wellness Summit Notes: Kimberly Snyder

Our favorite author, Skye Falcon, has gone through another summit, providing her with loads of new information about healthy living, healthy eating, and how to turn your body back around. This summit took place in August of 2015, and had many of the top doctors, nutritionists, and functional medicine doctors giving their best advice for 45 minutes to over an hour!

Here you’ll get to read some of the notes Skye took from Kimberly Snyder’s summit session. She is a nutritionist, yogi, and author, having books like, “The Beauty Detox” available on many platforms. She is also on Facebook, and has quite a following!

Visit us again soon to find another installment from Skye’s notes!