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Medication And Older Adults

(category: Elderly-Care, Word count: 1677)
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You are a partner in your health care. This is a partnership between you, your doctor, and your pharmacist. You need to be assertive and knowledgeable about the medications you take.

The Food and Drug Administration is also working to make drugs safer for older adults, who consume a large share of the nation's medications. Adults over age 65 buy 30 percent of all prescription drugs and 40 percent of all over-the-counter drugs.

"Almost every drug that comes through FDA [for approval] has been examined for effects in the elderly," says Robert Temple, M.D., associate director for medical policy in FDA's Office of Drug Evaluation and Research. "If the manufacturer hasn't done a study in the elderly, we ask for it."

More than 15 years ago, the agency established guidelines for drug manufacturers to include more elderly patients in their studies of new drugs. Upper age limits for drugs were eliminated, and even patients who had other health problems were given the green light to participate if they were able. Also, drugs known to pass primarily through the liver and kidneys must be studied in patients with malfunctions of those organs. This has a direct benefit for older adults, who are more likely to have these conditions.

In several surveys, FDA discovered that drug manufacturers had been using older adults in their drug studies; however, they weren't examining that age group for different reactions to the drugs. Now, they do. Today, every new prescription drug has a section in the labeling about its use in the elderly.

Says Temple, "The FDA has done quite a bit and worked fully with academia and industry to change drug testing so that it does analyze the data from elderly patients. We're quite serious about wanting these analyses."

When More Isn't Necessarily Better

Of all the problems older adults face in taking medication, drug interactions are probably the most dangerous. When two or more drugs are mixed in the body, they may interact with each other and produce uncomfortable or even dangerous side effects. This is especially a problem for older adults because they are much more likely to take more than one drug. Two-thirds of adults over age 65 use one or more drugs each day, and a quarter of them take three drugs each day.

Not all drug combinations are bad. High blood pressure is often treated with several different drugs in low doses. Unless supervised by a doctor, however, taking a mixture of drugs can be dangerous.

For example, a person who takes a blood-thinning medication for high blood pressure should not combine that with aspirin, which will thin the blood even more. And antacids can interfere with certain drugs for Parkinson's disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Before prescribing any new drug to an older patient, a doctor should be aware of all the other drugs the patient may be taking.

"Too often, older people get more drugs without a reassessment of their previous medications," says Feinberg. "That can be disastrous."

There is also evidence that older adults tend to be more sensitive to drugs than younger adults are, due to their generally slower metabolisms and organ functions. As people age, they lose muscle tissue and gain fat tissue, and their digestive systems, liver, and kidney functions slow down. All this affects how a drug will be absorbed into the bloodstream, react in the organs, and how quickly it will be eliminated. The old adage "Start low and go slow" applies especially to the elderly.

Older adults who experience dizziness, constipation, upset stomach, sleep changes, diarrhea, incontinence, blurred vision, mood changes, or a rash after taking a drug should call their doctors. The following suggestions may also help:

* Don't take a drug unless absolutely necessary. Try a change in diet or exercise instead. Ask your doctor if there's anything else you can do besides drug therapy for the condition.

* Tell your doctor about all the drugs you take. If you have several doctors, make sure they all know what the others are prescribing, and ask one doctor (such as an internist or general practitioner) to coordinate your drugs.

* Ask for drugs that treat more than one condition. Blood pressure medicine might also be good for heart disease, for example.

* Keep track of side effects. New symptoms may not be from old age but from the drug you're taking. Try another medication if possible until you find one that works for you.

* Learn about your drugs. Find out as much as you can by asking questions and reading the package inserts. Both your doctor and pharmacist should alert you to possible interactions between drugs, how to take any drug properly, and whether there's a less expensive generic drug available.

* Have your doctor review your drugs. If you take a number of drugs, take them all with you on a doctor's visit.

* Ask the doctor, "When can I stop taking this drug?" and, "How do we know this drug is still working?"

* Watch your diet. Some drugs are better absorbed with certain foods, and some drugs shouldn't be taken with certain foods. Ask a pharmacist what foods to take with each drug.

* Follow directions. Read the label every time you take the medication to prevent mistakes, and be sure you understand the timing and dosage prescribed.

* Don't forget. Use a memory aid to help you-a calendar, pill box, or your own system. Whatever works for you is best.

Medicine and Special Needs

Arthritis, poor eyesight, and memory lapses can make it difficult for some older adults to take their medications correctly. Studies have shown that between 40 and 75 percent of older adults don't take their medications at the right time or in the right amount. About a quarter of all nursing home admissions are due at least in part to the inability to take medication correctly.

A number of strategies can make taking medication easier. Patients with arthritis can ask the pharmacist for an oversized, easy-to-open bottle. For easier reading, ask for large-type labels. If those are not available, use a magnifying glass and read the label under bright light.

Invent a system to remember medication. Even younger adults have trouble remembering several medications two or three times a day, with and without food. Devise a plan that fits your daily schedule. Some people use meals or bedtime as cues for remembering drugs. Others use charts, calendars, and special weekly pill boxes.

Mary Sloane, 78, keeps track of five medications a day by sorting her pills each evening into separate dishes. One is for morning pills, the other for the next evening. Then she turns each medicine bottle upside down after taking the pill so she can tell at a glance if she has taken it that day.

"You have to have a system," Sloane says. "Because just as soon as I get started taking my pills, the phone rings, and when I come back to it, I think, 'Now have I taken that?'"

Drug-taking routines should take into account whether the pill works best on an empty or full stomach and whether the doses are spaced properly. To simplify drug-taking, always ask for the easiest dosing schedule possible-just once or twice a day, for example.

Serious memory impairments require assistance from family members or professionals. Adult day-care, supervised living facilities, and home health nurses can provide assistance with drugs.

Active Lives

Not all older adults are in danger of drug interactions and adverse effects. In fact, as more and more people live active lives well into their 80s or beyond, many take few medications at all. Among healthy older adults, medications may have the same physical effects as they do in younger adults. It is primarily when disease interferes that the problems begin.

To guard against potential problems with drugs, however, older adults must be knowledgeable about what they take and how it makes them feel. And they should not hesitate to talk to their doctors or pharmacists about questions and problems they have with a medication.

Says the University of Maryland's Feinberg: "We need to have educated patients to tell us how the drugs are working."

Rebecca D. Williams is a writer in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Cutting Costs

The cost of medications is a serious concern for older adults, most of whom must pay for drugs out of pocket. Even those who have insurance to supplement Medicare must often pay a percentage of the cost of their medicines.

For a new prescription, don't buy a whole bottle but ask for just a few pills. You may have side effects to the medication and have to switch. If you buy just a few, you won't be stuck with a costly bottle of medicine you can't take.

For ongoing conditions, medications are often less expensive in quantities of 100. Only buy large quantities of drugs if you know your body tolerates them well. But be sure you can use all of the medication before it passes its expiration date.

Call around for the lowest price. Pharmacy prices can vary greatly. If you find a drug cheaper elsewhere, ask your regular pharmacist if he or she can match the price.

Other ways to make your prescription dollars go further include:

* Ask for a senior citizens discount.

* Ask for a generic equivalent.

* Get drug samples free. Pharmaceutical companies often give samples of drugs to physicians. Tell your doctor you'd be happy to have them. This is especially convenient for trying out a new prescription.

* Buy store-brand or discount brand over-the-counter products. Ask the pharmacist for recommendations.

* Call your local chapter of the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) and your local disease-related organizations (for diabetes, arthritis, etc.) They may have drugs available at discount prices.

* Try mail order. Mail-order pharmacies can provide bulk medications at discount prices. Use this service only for long-term drug therapy because it takes a few weeks to be delivered. Compare prices before ordering anything.

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Which Of These 4 Personal Mobility Scooters Will You Own

(category: Elderly-Care, Word count: 285)
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There are many makes and models of personal mobility scooters to choose from. Break them down and they fall into the 4 following categories of scooters. Here they are:

1) Folding/Easily Transported Scooters: Your scooter won't do you much good if you have to go onto a trip and can't take it with you. That's when this type of scooter comes into play. Usually this type of scooter can be disassembled into 3 or 4 pieces of lightweight parts - making the scooter easily transportable. Able to fit into the trunk of most cars.

2) Three-Wheeled Scooters: As the name implies, this scooter has 3 wheels instead of 4. And it usually has a maximum weight capacity of 300 to 500lbs. Offering comfort and durability, three-wheel scooters can get you where you want to go indoors and outdoors.

3) Four-Wheeled Scooters: If you plan on mostly using your scooter outdoors, then a four-wheeled personal mobility scooter is probably right for you. Obviously because this type of scooter has four wheels instead of three, it's much more stable. With bigger tires than three three-wheeler, it's able to go as fast as 10 miles per hour.

4) Heavy Duty Electrified Personal Mobility Scooters: This type of scooter can come with three or four wheels and can support a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds.

The type of personal mobility scooter you buy will depend upon several factors. Including weight of the user, whether the scooter will be used mostly indoors or outdoors and the amount of usage involved. Make sure you inform your salesperson of these factors. Don't get talked into buying a scooter you don't need.

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What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Manual Wheel Chair

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Are you trying to decide between a manual wheel chair and an electric one? Before I explain the pros and cons of owning a manual wheel chair as opposed to an electric wheel chair, here are some important considerations to take into effect.

A manual wheel chair requires you to use your own muscles to propel yourself forward. So if you have decent to good upper body strength, these may be ideal for you. You can get manual wheel chairs that are lightweight. You can also get sports chairs and outdoor chairs too.

Here are the pros and cons of owning a manual wheel chair:


1.More affordable.

2.Great for temporary/short term use.

3.May maintain upper body strength and endurance, as it is a self-propelled wheel chair requiring upper body ability.

4.Most common models are lightweight and fairly easy to transport.

5.May require less maintenance.


1.If you lack upper body strength or ability, and the ability to self-propel yourself throughout the day, on a daily basis - manually, then this may not be the wheel chair for you.

2.Harder to get around than in an electric wheel chair. You lose the luxury of "automatic" mobility the electric wheel chair offers.

3.Depending upon your condition, you may require a helper to push you around if you own a manual wheel chair.

When talking to a sales rep at a wheel chair store, it's important to let him or her know your physical condition. What you will and will not be capable of.

Let him or her know if you have a nurse or someone available who can push you and if temporary, for how long you expect to be in the wheel chair. (If it's not to long, you may want to look into getting a used wheel chair or even wheel chair rental.) With that information, he or she can better help you pick out the model and brand perfect for you.

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Helpful Hints For The Elderly

(category: Elderly-Care, Word count: 505)
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The elderly need a lot of help around the house, but it is not often that each and every member of the family will be around to help. A typical household will not have a hired nurse, and so it becomes the duty of the homeowner to assist their aged parents or grandparents. Assistance may range from simple walking, to getting a hard to reach item. The wisdom comes in the form of self-assistance; that is, in the ability for the elderly to help themselves. This can easily be made possible with proper planning and slight adjustment to your daily routine.

Eliminate obstacles around the house. What may seem like a trifle to an agile twenty-year-old may be a gauntlet for a seventy-year-old. These daily obstacles pose threats ranging from mild to critical. For example, glassware and tile pose a very serious threat, while polycarbonate and carpet virtually eliminates any concern. Problems like that can be remedied by practical thinking: eliminate the obstacle, not the object. Outfitting the house to meet the needs of the elderly, while at the same time preserving the homeowner's comfort of living, can be a much simpler task than perceived.

Solutions can be entirely within the realm of practicality, while others involve expenses. The most obvious and time-honored solution is to leave all of their personal affects downstairs, assuming they live inside a house with more than a single story. Doing so will sidestep the most frightening scenario: falling down the stairs. If at all possible, ensure that plenty of necessities remain accessible on the first level, especially a bathroom. As a tip, lay out a non-slip surface inside the tub and showers, as well as bath mats on the outside. Inexpensive and easy to install, they deter the most hazardous of daily household injuries.

By way of expenses, outfit the television with a wireless headset. This way, the volume can be turned up to suit their needs without disrupting the rest of the household. Another measure would be to enable subtitles and captions for movies and television. Other gadgets to consider are audio reminders, which will remind a person of certain tasks via pre-recorded messages. In short, gadgets of all kinds can aid in everyday life just as well as practical decisions. In times of boredom, say, handheld portable gaming systems integrate very well into the lives of the elderly. For example, crossword puzzles and other games that aid in critical thinking and coordination are easily accessible on Nintendo's own DS Lite.

With these tips in mind, use your home to their advantage, all without necessitating too much change. Too often can discomfort and accidents happen at the smallest detail. Sometimes the elderly may be at home for hours at a time, alone. The best option would be to organize a lifestyle alongside your aged parents or grandparents, a lifestyle that suits them. This makes it easier for everyone involved, as self-assistance is the most ideal way to retain their freedom and their dignity.

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Mobility Electric Scooters Freedom For The Elderly

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There would not be much excitement in life if you had to spend it sitting in a chair or lying in a bed every day. Relying on somebody else to perform simple tasks for you, such as getting a drink of water, can make you feel like you are nothing but a burden to others. If you or someone you love needs a boost maybe electric scooters are what you should be investigating.

It wasn't too long ago that the elderly and handicapped relied exclusively on others for their care and entertainment. But with the recent advancements in scooters many seniors or disabled people can now grab hold of some of their freedom again. Cheap electric scooters can allow the formerly bed-ridden or chair-ridden to travel as if they actually had legs that worked again. No more depression due to lack of independence. Returned is the ability not only to get yourself a glass of water, but to go out and get the morning newspaper or even take the dog for a walk. Getting out in the fresh air is something that may not have been possible for many without the assistance of electric scooters. Some people think of scooters as belonging in a sports category, but it's all recreation and assistance.

In my neighborhood there is an elderly gentleman that cruises down the sidewalk with his control lever in one hand and his dog leash in the other. Without his electric scooter there would be no fresh air for him. There would be no walking the dog or talking with the friendly neighbors he runs into (figuratively, not literally). He's free once again to roam the streets with his best friend Fido. What a great feeling that must be, to get out of the house for a short time each day when it used to be impossible. There's practically nowhere a person can't go these days with the help of these magnificent little vehicles.

There are a wide variety of scooters available to the public these days. Besides electric types there are gas, utility and foldable models. They all have their advantages under certain conditions. Kids love the compact and easy-to-handle foldable or Razor scooters. They are very cheap, often under $100, and make getting places a snap. They are also very inexpensive to operate once you own one. Kids use their scooters as motorcycles, but a scooter is so much more than a miniature motorcycle, they are a means of obtaining freedom for the elderly.

Gas powered scooters are more powerful, allowing the driver to travel further distances away from home. There are even larger touring models manufactured for the sole purpose of long distance travel. The touring types are bigger and heavier, and they consume a little more fuel, but they allow for long distance travel unlike the foldable, utility or mobility models.

Utility scooters are becoming very popular with different types of institutions such as school campuses, professional sports stadiums, golfers and big businesses. Have you ever seen a person driving a cart in a school parking lot, going from car to car looking for parking violations? In all probability they were driving utility scooters. And golf carts are just a modified version of this type. It's hard going to any large institution these days without running into a utility scooter of some type or another.

The electric models are very versatile and are used to perform many functions. They are used in the foldable and utility types most often. But perhaps where they perform their greatest task is in assisting the elderly or disabled. It wasn't too long ago that these mobility vehicles had a very limited distance, but with the advancement of batteries and their capacities they can now be used for an entire day before needing to be recharged. They can be driven all day and then plugged in at night for recharging while everyone is fast asleep. Then in the morning they are ready to perform their duties again for another day. What a wonderful gift to those that no longer have the ability to get around on their own.

Mobility electric scooters are different than the gas powered models. For one thing they will have at least 3, but usually 4 wheels. The reason for the extra wheels is stability. It's not too hard to lose your balance on a 2-wheel variety, but it's almost impossible with 4-wheels. With the extra stability that 4 wheels adds it makes the mobility electric scooters very safe for travel in and around the home. These handicapped models are bigger and heavier than other types which allows for better control and more storage. Electric scooters are here to stay. If chosen carefully it can become one of the best purchases ever made for the handicapped, disabled or elderly.

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Maintain Your Brain Strategies To Help Prevent Alzheimer S Disease

(category: Elderly-Care, Word count: 743)
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It's almost become a joke. Forget the word you wanted to use and joke 'Must be early Alzheimer's.' Lose track of where you left your keys? "Doh! Guess I'm getting Alzheimer's." Alzheimer's Disease is no joking matter, though, and we know it even under the casual, joking jabs at our own memory problems. I suspect that more than one of us, when those occasional lapses of memory happen, wonder if we really ARE starting to lose our memories to one of the most baffling and devastating diseases we know.

According to the Center for Disease Control statistics, 20% of adults who are in nursing homes have a primary diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease - over 214,000 people. For many of us who are approaching the far side of middle age, that's a frightening statistic. Those jokes have the air of gallows humor. There is good news on the Alzheimer's front. Research into risk factors and predisposition have turned up some interesting correlations between general health, social well-being and Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Association has some suggestions that may help lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease, and even slow its progression among those who have already started showing symptoms.

- Eat your fruits and veggies.

Mother always told you to eat all your veggies, and this is one more good reason. In one study of over 1,800 elderly men and women, researchers found that those who drank fruit or vegetable juice at least three times a week had a 75% less risk of developing Alzheimer's than those who drank less than one glass per week. Why?

The answer probably lies in the effects of antioxidants. Fruit juices - especially berry juices - are among the highest sources of antioxidants around. Dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, berries and citrus juices are all up there as excellent sources of antioxidant goodness. Get out the juicer and drink up!

- Eat a healthy, balanced diet - and don't forget your fats.

A healthy diet is basic to a healthy brain. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits should be your major source of calories, but doctors are starting to take a closer look at fats again. One source of fat that appears to be vital to rebuilding and maintaining brain cells is fish. The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in high concentrations in cold-water fish like tuna and salmon, as well as in shellfish, are an important ingredient in building neural pathways that function properly. Nutritionists suggest including a source of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet at least three times a week. Tuna casserole, anyone?

- Get social!

In a study of over 2,500 men, those who had the least contact with friends and family were nearly 3 times as likely to develop dementia as those who had more active social lives. Social activity and maintaining family and social ties seem to stimulate the brain cells and keep them from atrophying. When's the last time you had coffee with your sister, hm?

- Exercise your brain.

Recent studies strongly suggest that elderly people - including those with Alzheimer's Disease, can improve their memories with practice. Researcher suggest that activities like crossword puzzles, memory games and challenging mental activities could help the brain create new neural pathways as old brain cells die off. Get out the word-search books and have some mental fun!

- Stay physically active.

In one study of almost 500 adult children of parents with Alzheimer's Disease, researchers found that those who exercised regularly scored better on memory and problem solving tasks than those who were sedentary. It may be that exercise, which promotes healthy circulation and gets the blood flowing through your entire body, helps nourish the brain by getting more nutrients to it on a regular basis. Take a walk or take up swimming - or join a fitness group to combine social AND physical activities in one.

The bottom line? Doctors and researchers aren't sure what causes it, so there's no surefire way to prevent Alzheimer's Disease from developing. They do know that people who share certain traits are much less likely to develop the symptoms though. Stay fit, get active, get out with your friends often and do what you can to enjoy your life. As a prescription for preventing Alzheimer's disease, it sounds like a great way to live!

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Emergency Response Systems My Experience

(category: Elderly-Care, Word count: 407)
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One of the best ways to protect the indepencence of an elderly parent, or parents, as the case may be, is to set them up with an emergency response system.

First of all, the emergency alert system will give them the freedom of living alone because help, when needed, is only the push of a button away.

I know, because my 86 year old mother slipped and fell in her bedroom just a few feet away from her phone, but could not get to it to dial for help.

Luckily I had installed an emergency response system for her just a few weeks before this incident. When she fell, she simply pushed a button on the pendant she always wears around her neck, and help was on the way.

Having an emergency response system installed in your parent's home is almost like having someone living with them 24/7-They are never alone.

The system I installed for my mom cost me less than fifty dollars and instead of paying 40 dollars or more each month for a monitoring service I set it up to call my own phone. I was even able to listen in to find out if she way seriously injured and to let her know I was on my way over.

Thankfully I live only 5 minutes from her home. If I lived any further away I would have simply called an ambulance or the police, who are trained to handle most situations.

When I arrived at her house I found her on the floor in the bedroom unable to move without a great deal of pain due to injuries sustained when she fell. I am just grateful that someone makes a system that is reliable, yet inexpensive. A good system where I don't have to pay an additional $40 a month for monitoring. What I don't need is another bill to pay every month.

This type of emergency response system gives my mom extra peace of mind because she knows if she needs help it is not a stranger, but her own son (or daughter-if I am not available the system will dial my sister's phone next) that is just the push of a button away.

For more information on this type of emergency response system just click right here on this link, or copy it into your browser,

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Sometimes Caring For A Loved One With Dementia Means Seeking Outside Help

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As our society ages, more and more families are struggling to live with a family member who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer disease. While memory loss can be a frightening experience for our aging parents or grandparents, its' impact on the family can be equally frightening, particularly when there are young children in the home.

I learned that fact first hand when I brought my 93 year-old grandmother home to live with us. There were a host of reasons why I felt she should come to live with us; her home was old and in need of serious repair, there was a steep set of stairs that she had fallen down more than once, and perhaps most important, she had raised me as a child when my own mother was ill. For all of these reasons and my stubborn belief in the extended family, we brought her home to live with us.

After a very short time, we realized her dementia had progressed far beyond the simple forgetfulness she occasionally displayed. On most days, she would chuckle at her lapses of memory. On others she would lash out verbally and even physically as she retreated in terror at the unfamiliar.

Before coming to live with us, she had spent the past 30 years living alone. In retrospect I realize she was completely unprepared for the realities of living in an active household with children. The simple act of going up and down the stairs would wake her from a sound sleep and send her into a rage. The constant opening and closing of doors would accomplish the same. The house was never clean enough, our children had far too many friends coming to visit, and I never spent enough of my time sitting at the table and visiting with her over coffee.

Gradually, the reality became clear. I could not care for my children and my grandmother at the same time. The needs of one were diametrically opposed to the other. The active, laughter-filled household that made all the neighborhood children want to visit our home enraged my grandmother to the point of violence. Friends began to stay away and my children searched for excuses to spend their time elsewhere.

Agonized by the decision I had to make, God took pity and intervened. My grandmother suffered a heart attack and spent two weeks in intensive care. While she eventually recovered, she was left in a weakened state and her equilibrium was severely compromised. The result: under medical advice, she would be unable to return to our home and required 24-hour care.

Today she lives in a Catholic nursing home and I am truly astounded by the changes she has undergone in just a few short months. Their care has been nothing short of miraculous. With diligent monitoring of her diet she has lost the extra weight she put on, and has been removed from all medication. She is more active, and truly enjoys the companionship of others her age. She occasionally asks about coming back to live with us and I laugh with joy. "Are you nuts?" I ask her. "You look better today than you have in ten years."

The simple reality is that others were far better equipped to provide my grandmother with the care she needed. As our population ages, and people live far beyond the life expectancy of even 20 years ago, more and more families will be forced to acknowledge their limitations, just as I was. Choosing to place a family member in a nursing home is not an admission of failure on your part, but an acceptance of the fact that prolonged life expectancy carries with it a need for more complex care than the vast majority of us can ever hope to provide.

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How To Spot Elder Abuse

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Elder abuse is described by the following acts among family and members of the household, any nursing home staff or any individual.

- When somebody attempts or causes physical injury to an elder

- When the family member or staff of a nursing home try to or is trying to place an elder in terror or alarm of physical harm by torment, threat or harassment

- When one is convincing or persuading an elder by strength or intimidation to participate in a certain act from which the elder has the right to withhold

- When one meaningfully confines the movements of an elder without his consent

- Threatening the elder to a crime of violence

1. Detecting Abuse:

- Burn markings from cigarette

- Black eye, lacerations, bruises or cuts that can not be explained

- Rope marks, a sign that the elder had been tied or slashed upon

- Hair loss, a sign that the elder's hair was pulled

- Bodily sores and wounds

- Fingernails that are broken

- The elder's skin is very poor condition

- Fractures of the bone

- Bite marks

- Eye glasses are broken

- Laboratory results are positive of drug overdose

- The elder displays a sudden change of behavior

- The care giver refuses to allow visitors to see the elder

2. Signs Of Neglect:

- Sores are untreated

- Displays significant signs of malnutrition

- May show signs of insanity

- Lack of personal hygiene care

3. Signs Of Emotional Abuse:

- May display a nervous behavior

- Constantly be disturbed or upset

- Displays a negative attitude

- Always in anxiety

- Demonstrate signs of insecurity, such as constant sucking or biting of the fingers

4. Financial Abuse:

- Unknown withdrawal from the elder's account

- Unusual ATM withdrawals and switching of accounts

- The elder tend to withdraw money often

- The elder does not receive his pension or Social Security check from the mail

- The elder, without any valid reason, revises his will and changes his beneficiary

- The elder unexplainably signs contracts that results to unwanted financial commitment

- Signature was forged

- The elder has plenty of unpaid bill, despite his assets that can very well cover the bill

- Strange credit card charges

5. Signs Of Sexual Abuse

- Mysterious and unexplained genital infection

- Anal or vaginal bleeding that can not be explained

- Ripped underwear

- The elder may tell someone that she has been sexually abused

- Genitals are bruised

- The elder may report that her care giver is showing her pornographic materials

- The report of the elder that she is forced to touch someone's genitals, observe sexual acts, tell dirty stories and pose nude for a picture

6. How Can You Prevent Abuse To Yourself As An Elder?

- Keep and continue contacts with friends and neighbors

- Work out on a buddy system with other elders in the home

- Be active socially, do not be in isolation

- Protest and speak up if you are not happy or contented with the way your caregiver or other family member treats you. Tell somebody

- Request your friends and other relatives to visit you often

- Open your mail personally

- Never sign anything unless it was reviewed by someone that you trust

- Always review your will once in a while

- Coordinate so that your pension or Social Security check be deposited directly to your bank account than being sent by mail

7. How Can You Prevent Abuse To Others?

- Pay attention. Be wary and look out for signals that might point towards abuse

- Call your loved one as frequently as possible

- Visit your loved one often and make certain that she is well taken cared of

- Always be open to your loved one, taking the time to always talk to her and assure her that you are there to help and can be trusted

- Get permission to periodically look into your loved one's bank accounts as well as credit card statements for unauthorized withdrawals or transactions

8. How To Get Help If You Or Someone You Know Is Suffering Abuse:

911 or your local police emergency number or your local hospital emergency room

1225 Eye Street, NVW Suite 725

National Center on Elder Abuse

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 898-2586

Fax: (202) 898-2583

Area Agency on Aging

Almost all States have information as well as a referral line that can be useful and helpful in locating and finding services for elder abuse and neglect victims.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The hotline provides support counseling for victims of domestic violence and provides links to 2,500 local support services for abused women. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

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