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By Mark Brownstein, 11:21 am on December 12, 2013

Fort Worth offers seniors an abundance of holiday treats. The holidays can be a joyful time for you and the seniors in your life, especially if you plan outings that bring the family closer together.  They need to be fun, easily accessible and not too strenuous.  In Fort Worth and nearby cities, the season offers bountiful ideas, from magnificent Christmas lights to musical memories.  Here are just some of the activities available in December that seniors will love. Merry X-mas, y’all. Christmas in the Stockyards blends carolers, holiday spirit, lighted Christmas trees and many other traditions.  http://www.stockyardsstation.com/event/detail.php?id=28&date=1387051200       The shops of Sundance Square are now festively decorated, with the 50-foot tall lighted tree as the area’s centerpiece.  You can drive or walk around the square. Grapevine, which calls…

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By Mark Brownstein, 12:30 am on December 4, 2013

National Caregivers Month recognizes the country’s greatest unsung heroes. Each year, more than $450 billion worth of unpaid caregiving is provided to family members with chronic illnesses, disabilities or seniors who can no longer care for themselves.  President Obama has declared November to be National Family Caregivers Month to recognize the over 90 million people who perform supportive tasks to care for loved ones—often around the clock.  It may mean getting up in the middle of the night to help with bathroom needs, taking individuals to countless doctor appointments, bathing, feeding, administering medications and even such complex duties as operating medical equipment. According to the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), two adults out of every five are family caregivers, or 39% of all Americans.  This figure has exploded from 30% in…

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By Mark Brownstein, 4:59 pm on November 15, 2013

Alzheimer’s  Disease remains on the rise as senior population increases. More than 5 million Americans are now living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.  When then-President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983, fewer than 2 million Americans had the disease.  As the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to grow, so does the number of cases.  The current figure, 5 million, is expected to triple in 2050 if no medical breakthroughs to halt the disease are found.  Globally, a person will develop Alzheimer’s every 4 seconds. Alzheimer’s Disease (named after Alois Alzheimer who first described the symptoms in 1906) is also the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.  Chiefly a brain disease and not considered a normal…

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By Mark Brownstein, 4:52 pm on October 31, 2013

As seniors age, they may not be able to do some of the things they used to do, including many activities of daily living.  Depending on their lifestyle, medical needs and level of independence, seniors and their families must assess which housing options make the most sense.  It’s important to think not only about their current situation, but about what might be best in future years. There are numerous choices for elder care available, and one type does not fit all.  Be sure to talk with your senior family member if possible and thoroughly research each option. Independent Living or Retirement Communities Designed exclusively for adults in relatively good health, these homes, apartments and other living arrangements are senior-friendly with low upkeep and maintenance.  There are typically abundant opportunities for…

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By Mark Brownstein, 9:51 pm on October 16, 2013

National Case Management Week, October 13-19, recognizes the vital roles that case managers play in the continuum of health care.  This collaborative process includes case coordination, assessment, facilitation, advocacy, planning and communication to promote positive patient outcomes that are also cost-effective.  Case Management Week also serves to bring more attention to the case management field, and what case managers do. Fort Worth Home Care Assistance appreciates the importance of case managers in the home health industry. Our care managers work closely with case managers and social workers to ensure our care is consistent with the patient’s needs as documented by the physician and case manager.  Case managers serve patients as advocates regarding their well-being; they can be the liaison between patients, their families and healthcare professionals. They also act in…

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By Mark Brownstein, 5:37 pm on September 30, 2013

September is Healthy Aging Month…a reminder that practicing good health and fitness habits can help prolong our lives.  For seniors, this is especially important because doing such things as eating the right foods may cut the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other threatening conditions. Since this also happens to be autumn and harvest time, nature offers a colorful array of delicious fruits and vegetables that are known to preserve good health, and possibly even slow the aging process. Dark green leafy vegetables contain anti-oxidants that can stave off or slow macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 and older.  Examples are mustard greens, kale and spinach. To minimize wrinkles, it’s wise to eat plenty of green vegetables like cucumbers and broccoli.  Fruits such as…

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By Mark Brownstein, 10:37 pm on September 15, 2013

While getting the flu is never pleasant, it can be especially devastating for seniors. According to the Center for Disease Control, half of all confirmed flu cases in the U.S. are people 65 or older. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases states that about 24,000 adults die from the flu each year; 90% of these deaths occur in people over 65. As we age, our immunity to illnesses weakens.  Persons in their 70s and 80s are less resistant to the flu than those in their 60s.  They also may suffer from chronic conditions like congestive heart failure that already pose significant health difficulties.  If the flu is contracted, complications like pneumonia can arise with this heightened susceptibility to other infections and diseases. Vaccination for the flu (or influenza) is the…

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By Mark Brownstein, 3:38 pm on September 2, 2013

Taking care of an elderly parent upon their release from a rehab facility can be a difficult task.  Pre-planning can make the transition easier for both the caregiver and the senior adult. The following checklist offers advise to assist you as you adapt your home to provide the best care and safety for your loved one recently discharged into your care. Furniture Positioning Furniture should be positioned to create wide paths that can accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. The minimum clear space for the width of a wheelchair is 36” in all directions. The average distance an adult needs to make a complete circle is estimated to be 60” of clear floor space. Removing rugs, extension cords or clutter will help to ensure a safe route from room to room. Make…

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By Mark Brownstein, 3:56 am on August 15, 2013

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. At Home Care Assistance, we know that even seniors who have received certain vaccines as a child should be vaccinated for serious diseases that can cause very harmful consequences, including death.  People age 65 or older are at higher risk of complications from these diseases (should they get them), so they should not take the recommendations lightly.  An estimated 45,000 adults needlessly die each year from such complications, which could have been prevented with proper vaccinations. Recommended Vaccines for Seniors There are several vaccines that are available to seniors at low cost or covered on their medical plans. Make sure to check with your physician if you need to schedule immunization from a vaccine preventable disease. Below are some of the diseases for which…

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By Mark Brownstein, 8:00 am on July 28, 2013

According to the World Health Organization, over 150 million people are chronically infected with the Hepatitis C virus. In the United States, it is estimated that 3.2 million people have some form of Hepatitis infection. The scary part is most people don’t even know they are infected because they don’t look or feel sick. What is Hepatitis? Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It is the name of a family of viral infections known as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis A is considered an acute virus, short in duration, typically severe but not chronic. People with Hepatitis A usually improve without treatment. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can also appear as acute infections, but in some people, the virus can stay in the body undetected and result…

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