Substance Abuse Class

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Alcohol abuse can put the elderly at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems and difficulties in breathing. Alcohol-related illnesses are a major cause of premature death. Among persons older than 65, moderate and heavy drinkers are 16 times more likely than nondrinkers to die of suicide. Less than half of alcoholics over 65 are diagnosed, […]

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Ensuring Drug Safety, Effectiveness with Multiple Medications

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By Helen Dennis Question: My 84-year-old father is the primary care provider for my mother, who is 82. He is very much in charge. With the many prescription drugs she is taking, I am concerned about the combinations and dosages. I would like to give him some advice in a gentle way. Can you help?  […]

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Helpful Website Resources for Fall Prevention

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National Institute on Aging Fall-Proofing Your Home Prevent Falls and Fractures Exercises Osteoporosis Centers for Disease Control and Prevention STEADI – Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries Important Facts About Falls What YOU Can Do to Prevent Falls Stay Independent: Prevent Falls National Council on Aging This information is shared with permission of the National […]

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Finding a Professional Geriatric Care Manager

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Finding a Professional Geriatric Care Manager As part of the normal aging process, many people need assistance with specific types of care. This might mean help with bathing, dressing, preparing meals and accessing transportation. It might also include finding medical services, social orientation and psychological support. A geriatric care manager orGCM is a human service […]

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Support Services for Seniors Who Hoard

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Compulsive cluttering, or hoarding, is defined as the unnecessary retention of objects or animals that may subject the hoarder and others to safety and health hazards. Perhaps because many symptoms of hoarding intensify over time, they seem to be more common in seniors than in younger adults. Those who hoard often leave rooms filled with […]

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Residential Care Referral Services

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Finding Residential Care can be confusing and is often a maze to navigate. H.E.L.P. has created a set of strategies and a listing of local resources to help you out with this. Please download this tool by clicking here. For questions on this tool and other care questions, please contact H.E.L.P.

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Medicare Patients Beware!

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Question:  My mom was in the hospital for three days and then transferred to a skilled nursing facility for recovery.  Why is Medicare refusing to pay for her stay in the nursing facility? Answer: For Medicare to cover the cost of a post-hospital skilled-nursing home, a beneficiary must first be a hospital inpatient forat least […]

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Senior Corps Volunteers

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Bad news: So many people need assistance. Good news: You can enlist in Senior Corps! In 2009, President Obama signed the Serve America Act. It assists older adults in sharing their skills, talents and lifetime experiences with members of their communities. Just last year, California’s Senior Corps volunteers: Helped 92,100 older adults maintain their independence […]

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Talking With Your Doctor

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Question: Why does my doctor want me to bring all my medications to my scheduled wellness exam. Answer: By reviewing all your medications – both prescription and over-the-counter drugs – your doctor can better work with you in preparing your personal health plan. For most patients, a doctor’s medical file only lists prescribed medications and […]

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Keep Your Eyes On Your Vision

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Because the risks of developing eye diseases often increase as we age, it is very important that everyone aged 60 and above has a yearly eye exam with either an optometrist or ophthalmologist. An optometrist is licensed to examine, diagnose and treat common eye conditions and diseases, and prescribe proper glasses and contact lenses.  An […]

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Flu Shots are Important!

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Every year, between 5 and 20 percent of people in the U.S. come down with the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications, and flu-related deaths average 23,500 each year. More than half of such hospitalizations involve people age 65 and older. Keeping that […]

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Innovative New Hearing Tools

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According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one-third of people aged 60 and above have problems hearing. Certain sounds come through well; others not so well, and others not at all. Few age-related hearing problems can be completely cured, but innovative new tools are available. Well known symptoms of age-related hearing […]

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Dementia…or Not?

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Many people fear that older adults who start to be very confused might have dementia – a slow, progressive decline in one’s ability to think. Besides confusion, dementia symptoms often include short-term memory loss and an inability or refusal to communicate with others. Fortunately, with proper medical diagnoses and treatments, certain dementia-like symptoms can be […]

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Diabetes: The Silent Killer

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Question:  Am I at greater risk of becoming diabetic just because I’m 65? Answer: According to the American Geriatric Society, diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases related to aging. More than 40 percent of all diabetics in the U.S. are aged 65 and above, and this current percentage is expected to increase. […]

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Video Games for Seniors: An Innovative Technological Tool

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Although many people think of video games as mindless kid activities, current research confirms that they may actually enhance one’s ability to think, reason and respond quickly. According to the National Science Foundation, many seniors, who have experienced declines in their perceptual, motor and cognitive skills, increase hand-eye coordination, memory and muscle control by playing […]

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Are You Forgetting to Remember?

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Mild memory lapses are part of the normal aging process.  The types of problems that often arise include forgetting where you left things, your neighbor’s first name, or even the reason you picked up that phone. Such a scenario is quite common with older adults. Although for some seniors, memory problems may be indicative of […]

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Be Sure to Get the Right Amount of Sleep

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Although most retired people are not as busy as they used to be, many report that they get very tired during the day, yet have trouble falling asleep at night. The inability to sleep is one of the most common complaints that older adults report to their treating physicians. Seniors who do not get enough […]

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Curb-to-Curb Transportation

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Anyone who cannot drive and has a disability that makes reliance on public transportation difficult may be eligible for assistance from Access Paratransit. To apply, you must call 800-827-0829 (and then Press 1).  You will be asked a few basic questions including, “What places do you usually travel and how often?” If your answers show […]

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Safe Driving for Seniors

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) estimates that by the year 2030, one out of every five licensed automobile drivers will be 65 or older. Although the DMV may not discriminate against adult drivers because of age, the agency has the responsibility to make sure that all licensed drivers have the physical and mental […]

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Elder Care Needs Inventory

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Have an elder family member or friend who isn’t eating (or eating cereal three meals a day)? Or whose refrigerator is empty? Or who seems to be mixing up their medications? Or whose apartment is a mess? Or who isn’t keeping themselves clean? Perhaps your family member or friend would benefit for having help in […]

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I Can’t Remember Names – Do I Have Alzheimer’s?

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With the medical community’s increasing understanding of the brain, it is now believed to be normal for aging to be accompanied by: mild memory loss concerning recent events; mild difficulty recalling names; misplacing objects; and slowed thinking (taking longer to find the answers to questions). Dementia is Not Normal Aging When memory loss progresses over […]

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Hiring Home Care: Things to Know

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Many older adults prefer to receive the care they need in the familiarity and comfort of their own homes. How can an older adult obtain that care? If you are helping an elder family member or friend obtain care, how can you increase the likelihood of a good at-home care experience? Solid information and planning […]

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Getting it Your Way: Hospice at Home

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Whether we want to or not, each of us will die someday. Many of us, because we’ll have been dealing with a life-threatening illness, will know that “the end” is coming. If you knew that you had a terminal illness, how would you want to spend your remaining time? How would you want to live […]

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Help for the Exhausted Caregiver

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You want your elder family member to be able to live at home. You don’t want to have to move him or her to assisted living, board and care, or a nursing home. On the other hand, sometimes you need a break from care giving. You need to give yourself some care to tend to […]

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Does Mom or Dad Need Care at Home?

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  Does Mom or Dad Need Care at Home?   Chris is concerned about Terri, his mom. Terri seems to have been eating cereal for all her meals and whose refrigerator is nearly empty. And Terri seems to be mixing up her medications. Marcia is worried about Sal, her dad. Sal’s apartment is a mess, […]

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Losing Communication Skills

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Medical problems (strokes and other causes of damage to the brain) can shut down a person’s ability to speak and write. If a family member or friend has lost the ability to speak and write, what’s to be done? Consider the position of this daughter (we’ll call her Nancy) whose mother has had a stroke: […]

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Vision Problems That Accompany Aging

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One thing we can be sure of, our eyes and vision will change as we age. Starting at about age forty, for example, we all experience presbyopia. Presbyopia is the reduced ability of the lens to focus, and is due to lost flexibility in the lens. One symptom of this normal (although frustrating) change is […]

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