What Is Geriatric Care?


Life passes us by quickly and before we know it, our children have grown up and we have gotten older. Becoming an elderly person means having many additional needs that need to be addressed that aren’t a part of being a younger person. This is where we get into “Geriatric care.” Geriatric care is defined as the medical care of elderly or geriatric individuals. This kind of care doesn’t just mean medical needs, but also addresses other components of elderly people’s lives, such as mental health and social lives. Seniors need to feel like they are a part of a community just like any other human being or any age. Think about children who are in a kindergarten classroom, they are a part of a larger community: their class. And if you take it one-step further, their school. Elderly people want to have that sense of belonging as well. When older people live in a community residence with many other seniors, they feel connected to this center. That satisfies their social needs. Social needs are important, but also essential is that the seniors who are being cared for maintain their mental health.

As people age there can be anxiety about getting older. What will happen to their adult children, as they grow older? How about their grandchildren? Seniors can experience depression if their family doesn’t visit them as much as they would like them to. As for the children of the elderly person, it can be a lot to take in when your mother or father gets older. They might want to talk about their issues surrounding aging with their own counselor, and wonder “where can I find a therapist near me? We all have busy lives, but talking about our life challenges makes them feel less stressful. When a loved one develops Alzheimer’s, for example, the stress on the family can be extreme. This is situation that a psychologist can help one talk through. If your father is suffering from this disease, you can talk to your therapist about how to process your feelings about this. It could evoke a lot of emotions within you seeing your father in a state different from what you’re used to.

Our bodies age over the course of time. It would be great if we looked youthful and lived forever, but unfortunately that isn’t reality. We all age and that is a part of life. But, just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean your life has to end. Geriatric care focuses on maintaining wellness for seniors. When you take into account the social, psychological and health of a elderly person, they can lead a happy life.

Written by:
Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.

Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with panic disorder. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.

3 Things You Can Do to Prepare Your Home for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s


Providing care to a loved one is a rewarding experience. You know that you are giving her the best possible care and that she will spend her remaining days surrounded by loving family. When serving as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, make sure that your home also is as safe as possible for her. People living with Alzheimer’s have unique symptoms and traits that will require you to modify your home to make it the best environment possible, and you can ensure that your home will meet her needs by discussing your plans with your loved one’s doctor.

Increase Safety Around Stairs

Stairs are difficult for seniors to navigate, and they’re even more difficult for people living with Alzheimer’s. Steps pose a significant tripping hazard, so install ramps wherever possible in place of stairs. Keep in mind that building a ramp may be a DIY project, or you could hire a professional to design, build, and install ramps for the exterior of your home.

Ensure there are landings at the top and bottom of the ramp with railings on both sides for increased safety. Also, be sure the ramp surface is textured to decrease the risk of slipping and reflective to help your loved one find it in the dark.

As for interior stair safety, you have a couple of options. First, you can make arrangements for your loved one to live on the main level of your home by turning a den into a bedroom so she does not have to navigate stairs.

Another option is to install a stair lift so your loved one can access your entire home. Stair lifts climb up and down staircases on motorized rails and have comfort and safety features to keep your loved one secure. Also, make sure that your stairways are well lit, both outside and inside, to make your loved one feel safer.

2. Install Safety Gates and Locks

People with Alzheimer’s are prone to wandering, and you can help prevent falls by installing safety gates at the top and bottom of your stairs. If you are concerned that your loved one will wander away from your home, especially in the middle of the night while you’re asleep, you should place additional locks on your doors that are out of her reach or that require a key to unlock. Another option is a door lock designed specifically to stop Alzheimer’s patients from wandering, such as the Confounding Door Lock.

You also should ensure that all of your windows have locks that are in working order. If you’re concerned about your loved one becoming confused and trying to exit through a window, install window locks on all windows. Just be sure to purchase the correct locks for your type of windows.

3. Install Monitors or Sensors

Sensors and monitors are available for purchase specifically to help caregivers track their loved ones with Alzheimer’s. Motion sensors quickly detect when your loved one moves around the home and can detect variations in your loved one’s typical daily patterns to alert you to possible problems by sending a notification to your smartphone.

Some companies offer home automation systems with monitors and sensors that will make you feel more at ease when your loved one with Alzheimer’s is home alone or you are busy completing a task. These systems are easy for homeowners to install and include wireless monitors and cameras that you can place anywhere in your home to keep tabs on your loved one. Some of these systems also include door monitors that alert you when your loved one attempts to exit through an exterior door or leaves her bedroom in the middle of the night.

Before you can provide care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s properly, you need to modify your home to better suit her needs and ensure her safety. Begin by increasing safety around stairs with ramps or stair lifts, installing safety gates and door and window locks, and installing monitors or sensors around your home.

Perhaps most important to the safety of your loved one is your ability to care for him or her. Consider partnering with a team of dementia care specialists who can ease your burden with respite care when providing around-the-clock care by yourself becomes too much. By caring for yourself, you will return to your duties with a fresh set of eyes and both you and your loved one will benefit.

Written by: Lydia Chan

A Helping Hand – Nutritional Advice For Those Suffering With Parkinson’s Disease

Every year 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are recorded in America, making it the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the U.S. With no cure, it is vital to ensure those suffering with the disease are offered the best in facilities and help to ease the symptoms. A healthy and balanced diet should be followed in order to help with maintaining muscle, heart and brain function.

What to eat

Most important is to have a balanced diet that incorporates all of the main food groups. Everything should be eaten in moderation, however there are clearer guidelines on the quantities and types of food those living with PD should eat. PD makes bones more fragile and therefore it is essential that any diet contains at least three servings a day of dairy and vitamin D high foods. These will help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.
Carbohydrates should be the center of any meal, providing healthy calories. Although considered by some to be starchy and fattening the right carbohydrates are essential for energy, and are very filling. Wholegrain versions can also provide relief from constipation, a common problem for those with PD. Protein is provided via meat and fish products, and should be consumed two to three times a day. Pick the right protein or the alternatives, such as soy or Greek yogurt, for those who wish to be meat free. It is essential with any diet that you stay hydrated. Aim to consume six to eight glasses a day, water is ideal but any fluid will help. This, along with having five different servings of fruits and vegetables is key to any healthy and balanced diet.

Problems with eating

Along with providing the correct foods it is important to remember that those suffering with PD may have difficulty with the physical act of eating. Simple methods such as keeping the head elevated and eating cold and hot food separately will help. Meals should be small and often, and drinks should be taken between meals and not during. Remember to chew foods thoroughly so they are easier to swallow and digest. Tips like these should make meal times easier and more enjoyable.
By eating the best nutritional food available, those suffering PD may live more comfortably knowing they are treating their bodies as well as they can. A diet created to support brain, muscle and heart function will support other treatments, and hopefully create a more favorable lifestyle.


By: June Brown

Supporting Seniors After The Loss of A Spouse

As we age, many things can change in our lives – our sight and hearing can go, we lose our dexterity, and we even might begin to lose a lot of our friends and loved ones. Making sure your loved one stays cared for even after the loss of a long time spouse can be hard, but we have a couple ideas that might make it easier!

Dealing with Loneliness

Loneliness is one of the main challenges facing seniors that have lost a spouse. Loneliness and boredom can go hand in hand to make depression-like symptoms and deep sadness very prevalent in a senior’s life. Keeping a social and active life becomes a really hard thing to make feasible – this is where assisted or independent living can come in handy. The benefits of moving into a senior living facility are sometimes outweighed by the negative things that people have heard about them. Most of the time, if you find a reputable facility that allows you to tour and meet with the staff and other residents, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue. Senior facilities allow your loved one to be as independent or assisted as they desire, and most places already have nursing care and other medical amenities built in. They provide meals, day trips, and other social activities within the building as well. Most also have nice campuses, where you can take a walk around, or feed the ducks at their water feature! Discussing these options with an older loved one that has just lost a spouse might not be a bad idea.

Options Other than A Facility

If a retirement community is not an option for your loved one, either financially, or if they just refuse to move in, a good option is also to get a smaller home. Smaller homes have less maintenance work needed to keep them up, and you can also hire a cleaning service to help out when need be. Finding a house close to someone who can help take care of them often is also a good idea, because you won’t have to travel far in the case of any kind of emergency. It has also been shown that those who own a home and lose their spouse unexpectedly, are more likely to have issues with depression, because they suddenly become isolated, and have all of the pressures of dealing with the home maintenance, but by themselves. Allowing this grief and isolation to fester and grow, is not helpful to anyone in your family, especially your loved one.

Allow The Sadness to Run It’s Course

Don’t forget, that after the loss of a spouse, the feelings of grief and depression can take a long time to remedy themselves. Each person will deal with loss differently, and just being there for your loved one can go a long way to helping their emotional strength. Some constructive things you can discuss with your loved one includes joining a grief support group, meeting with members of your religious community, or talking with a professional counselor. Trying to help your loved one stay social and active is a huge part of their emotional recovery – and sometimes they won’t do what they need to without a little push. Make sure to discuss their options in an open and constructive way, and honor the decisions that they make – whether it is one you necessarily agree with, or not.

Allowing your loved one to take their time and find their own way in their new life without their spouse is very important – but taking what steps you can to make it easier on them is always helpful.

By: Jim Vogel of Elder Impact

Tech Services to Help You Care for Your Aging Parent From Afar

Across town or across the country, it’s tough to look after an aging parent when you left the nest years ago. But sometimes, moving home or having elderly parents move in with you simply isn’t an option and you’re left to navigate caring from hundreds or thousands of miles away.

It’s not an uncommon problem: It’s estimated there are as many as 7 million long-distance caregivers in the U.S. Thankfully, technology is making his challenging dynamic much easier to manage. If you’re a long-distance caregiver, here are four high-tech solutions you should be using.

Video Chat

The best way to keep tabs on your senior parent’s health is to talk regularly. While chatting on the phone is nice, but it doesn’t offer much insight into a person’s well-being. Video chat services like Skype, on the other hand, let you see a loved one’s face, making it easier to tell if she’s feeling unwell or upset.There are plenty of free video chat services on the market so you can converse without worrying about running up the phone bill on either end. If your parent isn’t quite tech-savvy, there are easy-to-use video chat devices designed to make this technology accessible to senior users.

Fall Detection

If you’re wondering if automatic fall detection is an important tool to have in your long-distance caregiving arsenal, consider this: Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries for the elderly in the U.S., with one in four seniors over the age of 65 falling annually. Over 27,000 seniors will die from falling every year, and another 800,000 will be treated for fall-related injuries. With automatic fall detection, you can be alerted if your elderly parent falls and is unable to get up. Most fall detection sensors come with a feature that automatically calls emergency services when there’s no movement following a fall, so you can rest assured your loved one will get help as quickly as possible.

Smart House Technology

The technology behind smart homes is complex, but the concept is simple: A smart home lets you control basic home functions like temperature, lighting, entertainment, and security systems through devices like phones or tablets. In more advanced systems, the technology can even learn residents’ habits and take anticipatory action.

For seniors, smart technology means a big improvement in everyday convenience. No more fumbling for a light switch during a late-night bathroom trip or walking across the house to make sure the front door is locked.

For seniors’ caregivers, it means major peace of mind about a loved one’s safety. Motion detectors let you know if an elderly parent hasn’t gotten out of bed or if she left the house and hasn’t returned. Smart pill dispensers use auditory and visual cues to remind seniors when a medication is due and let caregivers know if a dose is missed. Smart home technology can even be paired with wearable sensors to provide live data on a fragile senior’s vital signs, sleep patterns, and activity level.

Web-Based Domestic Help

Not every long-distance caregiving problem can be solved with technology alone; however, even in those instances technology is a helpful tool for finding the right solution. Caregivers can easily find personal help for their elderly parent by using web-based hiring services for domestic helpers.

A number of websites make it simple to hire trustworthy services for your parents from afar. You can find professionals to provide help with housekeeping, lawn care, rides to appointments and social outings, among others. If your parent has a beloved pet that she’s struggling to keep up with, you can even hire in-home pet care to help with walks, grooming, and vet appointments. If you’re looking to hire a helper for your elderly parent, consult reviews from prior clients to find someone you can trust.

Being a caregiver for an elderly parent is hard no matter where you are. Looking after a loved one’s well being from a distance adds its own unique set of challenges, but modern caregivers have more opportunities than ever to maximize the depth and quality of their involvement thanks to these innovative technologies.

Written By Maria Villeza from Elder Impact

5 Best Foods For Memory And Focus

Recently, food critics and scientists are advising the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a healthier heart, a stronger life, bones, and a reduced risk for high blood pressure and reduced risk for diabetes. In addition, lowering your risk for dementia has been linked to the foods you eat. Claire McEvoy, of the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine suggests thatthe Mediterranean diet, or “Eating a healthy plant-based diet is associated with better cognitive function and around 30% to 35% lower risk of cognitive impairment during aging.”

New research through the Alzheimer’s Association International has linked that healthier older adults who follow the Mediterranean diet lower their risk of dementia by a third. In addition, our genes activity is based on four main factors: diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. Diet is the most important as our eating habits directly affect our genetic make-up. Moreover, Claire McEvoy’s study investigated “eating habits of nearly 6,000 older Americans with an average age of 68. After adjusting for age, gender, race, low educational attainment and lifestyle and health issues — such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, depression, smoking and physical inactivity — researchers found that those who followed the MIND or Mediterranean diet had a 30% to 35% lower risk of cognitive impairment.” She conducted that most people who remain on these healthy diets function better cognitively.

What is the Mediterranean or MIND diet?

More simple than one may think. The Mediterranean diet is based off plant-based cooking, whole grains, seeds and beans, nuts, with most of the meal focusing on vegetables, fruits, and a heavy emphasis on extra virgin olive oil. Refined sugar, flour, processed foods, and unhealthy fats should never have been consumed. In America, we tend to base our meals around protein. However, the Mediterranean diet suggests we eat more fish, and use meat or eggs as a small portion for flavoring a dish. Moreover, “MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, with DASH standing for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” This diet suggests we reject stick margarine, red meats, cheeses, fast foods, fried foods, and sugars. Rather, eating at least six servings of green leafy vegetables a week, or once a day. Spinach or kale will hold the highest number of phytonutrients which are anti-inflammatory.

Take a look at the evidence: “In 2015, she studied 923 Chicago-area seniors and found those who say they followed the diet religiously had a 53% lower chance of getting Alzheimer’s, while those who followed it moderately lowered their risk by about 35%. Follow-up observational studies showed similar benefits.”
Certain foods will raise inflammation in the body: processed foods, sweets, fatty foods, and anything fried. Increased inflammation leads to a shrinking aging brain which can lower cognitive function and lead to memory loss. Moreover, foods rich in antioxidants, that maintain healthy microbiome in your gut will help maintain a healthy body; think of your tummy as your second brain!

Here are five brain foods to put into your diet if they aren’t already!

1. Avocados: Even though many people think avocados are high in fat; they are, the good kind! Mono-saturated fats are contained in avocados which help maintaining blood sugar and are great for your skin. Folate and vitamin K also prevent blood clots in the brain, helping protect yourself from a stroke all the while improving concentration and memory function. Avocados also have the highest protein content and lowest sugar in the fruit family.
2. Blueberries: one of the highest antioxidant fruits on the planet, packed with vitamin C, K, fiber, and gallic acid. Gallic acid helps protect the brain from stress and degeneration. Eat daily if you can!
3. Beets: Root vegetables are some of the most nutritious kinds to eat. Natural nitrates in beats reduce inflammation and are packed with anti-cancer antioxidants. Beets are delicious cut and roasted or shredded raw in a salad.
4. Broccoli: Another vegetable you cannot eat enough of. High in fiber, full of vitamin K, vitamin C, and choline. Just one cup a day fills you with enough Vitamin C needed for your daily intake.
5. Bone Broth: Instead of purchasing a chicken breast at the store, purchase an entire chicken to roast to create bone broth afterwards. Bone broth is great for your brain, boosting immune system, improving your joints, and great for your gut biome. Making it at home is essential as bone broth at most grocery stores are full of sodium, be sure to read your labels or purchase low sodium if you cannot make your own.