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The Benefits Of Making New Friends

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Reasons For Senior Citizens To Make New Friends

Those who have just retired or are planning to soon likely have a whole host of things on their to-do list. Retirement comes with a bit of frustrating irony in the fact that free time has become plentiful, but there may be a lack of folks with whom to pursue new activities. The reason for this is that it grows more difficult to maintain a full complement of friends and acquaintances during these years.

Stanford’s Center on Longevity recently found that older folks run a high risk of becoming disengaged from their social groups as they age. In fact, there is a strong likelihood that a high percentage of this age group will report feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Detrimental Health Effects Of Social Isolation

The fact is that loneliness and social estrangement are not just demoralizing and sad, they can also be harmful to your health status. Detachment from friends and society, in general, can negatively impact physical and mental health in those of more advanced age. Fortunately, there is no need to surrender to these types of feelings.

Growing Your Friend List After Retirement

There are a number of methods for establishing new friendships once you have made the decision to retire.

1. Volunteer Work

Few things are better for improving your community as well as your own well-being than helping others. No matter if you spend time at a soup kitchen or take care of stray animals at the shelter, volunteer opportunities to meet every taste and availability abound.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Care in Houston Texas2. Find Affinity Clubs

Also, a terrific way to build new friendships in the post-retirement years is to take part in shared interests with others. Clubs can be great for this purpose, as they unite those with common hobbies and interests in order to facilitate the pursuit of such activities. Sharing expertise and learning from others is ideal for forming new bonds.

Further, clubs of all sorts can be a wonderful conduit for generating interest in entirely new subjects and activities. Whether a club involves some sort of physical activity or is more intellectual in nature, the relationships fostered in these settings can prove very valuable over the coming years.

3. Mentoring The Young

With the population continuing to age, there is no limit to the ways in which senior citizens can provide critical mentorship and advice to other demographic groups. Their work experience, educational background, financial resources and other attributes make mentoring a perfect fit for seasoned citizens. The insights seniors can offer span the realms of business, culture, education and more, and younger generations can only benefit from listening and learning from these individuals.

4. Relocation To A Senior-Focused Community

Though some might initially balk at the prospect, relocating to a senior-focused residential community is often the push in the right direction older individuals need in order to stay active. With organized activities galore and nearly endless social opportunities around every corner, assisted living, independent living and memory care facilities can be an ideal place to explore new avenues and make lasting friendships. Assisting Hands Houston is among the finest elder care services in Houston, and is known for providing the social outlet’s senior citizens crave and need.

Assisting Hands Houston And Beneficial Socialization

All of the communities under the Assisting Hands Houston umbrella offer unique programs and organized activities meant to give seniors the chance to make friends, keep their minds active and engage with the world around them. Interested families can visit any of the participating communities’ website to review a sample calendar of events. This gives a great feel for the sort of vitality that is encouraged and achieved every day by seniors affiliated with Assisting Hands Houston.

Call or contact Assisting Hands Houston today for more information!

Seven Healthy Hobbies For Your Loved Ones

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Older Adults Can Do These 7 Healthy Hobbies

We all know that sometimes our favorite things to do aren’t really that good for us, and if your favorite things are not doing your health any good, then it’s time to pick up some new hobbies. For example, watching too much television doesn’t do anything for your fitness or mental goals. The good news is you don’t have to be a master at cooking vegan dishes or being obsessed with yoga to enjoy things that are good for you. With that said, here are a few hobbies you can do if you want to become healthier.

1. Bird Watching

Bird watching is one of the best things you can do and there are so many benefits of doing this hobby. For starters, when you are outdoors, you are being physical. Believe it or not, bird watching requires quite a bit of moving around.

Bird watching involves waiting around quietly and for long periods of time, so you will get plenty of peace and quiet, which is good for your mental health. It keeps you alert too because you will need to immediately grab your binoculars when you spot a bird. Other benefits include being good for your soul and it is a good social activity. Many people go in groups to do bird watching because the common interest in it brings them together.

2. Golfing

Many of the benefits associated with bird watching are experienced when you golf. Sure, you have to stay on one landscape when you golf, but you are still outside and getting fresh air. You’ll enjoy a number of cardiovascular benefits when you are out golfing, but there are social aspects of golf too. In fact, many people consider golf to be one of the most social activities you can do.

Even if you’re not playing a full game of golf, you can hang out in the clubhouse and don’t forget that it is a physical activity because you’re constantly swinging a club and walking along. Not only that, but golf can give you an ego boost. When you experience a victory, even a small one, then you will instantly gain confidence.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Care Activities3. Gardening

Gardening gets you outside and it’s quite physical. This hobby, like the other hobbies we will discuss throughout the rest of this article, offers the same benefits of golfing and bird watching. If you want to do something fun, relaxing and healthy, then take up gardening because you will love.

4. Photography

Photography is one of those hobbies that can be done outdoors or indoors. When you are snapping photos, you will be moving around and the chances are you will be bending over and standing up repeatedly. Photography can be very social too, especially if you are taking photos of human subjects.

5. Join a Walking Club

You can join a walking club. In fact, many Houston elder care services recommend doing this. When you join a walking club, you will feel more connected with your community. If you don’t want to join a walking club, then have a friend go with you on a daily walk or even just a few days a week.

6. Cooking

Cooking is a great activity that is healthy, especially when you focus on cooking and preparing healthy meals. You can even take cooking classes that are near your home. You will be dicing, slicing and chopping and you’ll be on your feet, which are all physical things. If you do take a class, then you will enjoy the social aspects of cooking.

7. Taking Classes

If you want to learn something new, then take a class because learning new things can be challenging and it is good for your mind. Many people believe that one of the benefits of Houston elder care services is they offer classes. With so many classes to choose from, you will surely find one you will enjoy.

As you can see, all of the above hobbies offer similar benefits, which includes social benefits, psychical benefits, and mental benefits. If you want to become healthier or remain healthy, then consider taking up some of the above hobbies and if you’re in Houston, then consider going into an elder care facility. Many facilities offer the above activities, but even if you don’t decide to go to one, make sure you still remain active by doing the above. The sooner you pick up one of those hobbies, the sooner you’ll experience the benefits it offers.

We invite you to call or contact Assisting Hands Houston if you have any more questions!

Paying Attention To Your Loved Ones Conditions

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9 Treatable Conditions Similar To Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease does not cause all types of dementia. In fact, many conditions mimic Alzheimer’s, and in some cases to the extent that they have doctors stumped. Although it is never a good situation when symptoms include confusion, personality changes, and memory loss, there is still hope. With early intervention, many of the conditions mimicking Alzheimer’s disease can be treated, along with in home care in Houston TX. From side effects from drugs to vitamin deficiencies, many things can occur to cause confusion and memory loss.

Treatable Condition Often Mistaken For Alzheimer’s Disease

Actually, there are more than 100 conditions that have symptoms that might be mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease. The following are nine of the more common ones.

Assisting Hands Houston | Signs of Alzheimer's Disease1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency

When vitamin B12 levels are low, it may cause a kind of anemia that is characterized by slowness, irritability, and confusion.

2. Other Vitamin Deficiencies

Deficiencies in vitamins B6 and B1 may produce Alzheimer’s-like symptoms as well. Folic acid and niacin deficiencies may cause dementia as well, although this is rare.

3. Depression

When older adults are depressed they frequently are afraid they may have Alzheimer’s. That is due to the fact that depression may cause disorientation, lack of focus, slowness, and forgetfulness.

4. Thyroid Problems

Dementia-like symptoms can be caused by either too little or too much thyroid activity.

5. Medication Side Effects

Medications tend to be a common cause for cognitive decline. Confusion may be a side effect of a certain prescription drug that a senior is taking. The individual could also be having an adverse reaction to the medication they are taking or it could an interaction between several different prescriptions. Dementia-like symptoms are caused by some medications that get prescribed to seniors since as you age the kidneys and liver are not as efficient. Drugs may build up within the body, which can cause a toxic reaction which results in mental decline.

The following are substances that might cause older adults to have cognitive problems:

  • Cholesterol drugs
  • Sleeping pills
  • Acid reflux drugs
  • Cardiovascular drugs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Narcotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Alcohol (when there is alcoholism present)

6. Withdrawal from Drugs

Alzheimer’s-like symptoms can not only be caused by drugs but discontinuing using prescriptions may as well. The resulting disorientation and confusion may mimic cognitive issues that Alzheimer’s disease is associated with.

Two common examples are alcohol withdrawal syndrome and withdrawing from anti-anxiety drugs suddenly.

7. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)

Brain fluid gradually building up may cause pressure that can end up damaging brain tissue. Abnormal walking is one of the very first symptoms that might appear in NPH cases. Others include confusion and delirium.

8. Brain Tumor

Meningioma are a type of benign tumor that may cause a cognitive loss at times and is mistakenly thought to be Alzheimer’s disease. It is often possible to surgically remove the tumors.

9. Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia may be caused by a mini stroke or stroke. Individuals who experience mini strokes frequently don’t even know they have had one. It is only after dementia signs start to arise that they suspect there might be a problem.

Sometimes vascular dementia can be treated with certain medications and cognitive rehab.

Being Aware Of Early Alzheimer’s Signs

If you or someone you love have symptoms that may possibly be Alzheimer’s, you should speak to your doctor as soon as you can. Real Alzheimer’s may be more effectively managed through the use of preemptive care, which is why early detection is so critical.

For any more questions you have regarding Alzheimer’s disease or in home care for your loved ones call or contact Assisting Hands Houston today! Our representatives are waiting to answer any questions and address any concerns that you may have.

The Important Questions To Ask Regarding Elder In Home Care

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Questions to Ask an In-Home Care Company

If you are considering hiring an in-home care company to care for your loved one, your primary concern will be ensuring your loved one is receiving the best care possible. It can be challenging to find the right outside party to care for these very personal responsibilities. Most families decide to vet care providers themselves; however, it can be quite difficult to know what questions that you should ask and what red flags to be aware of.

The following list of questions will help you determine the services that a company offers and determine the quality of care your family member will be receiving. A reputable home care company will offer amazing customer service and will be willing to answer all of your questions.

Remember that companies may do the initial intake either on the phone or in-person. There may be fees associated with this process, especially if it is a face to face meeting. During this process, you will discuss your loved one’s needs and gain an understanding of the services that the company offers. Use the following list of questions to ensure that you have the information that you need to make an informed decision.

Questions about the Business

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • What are the state licensing requirements for in-home care companies?
  • Is the company insured? (Get a copy of the company’s insurance declaration)
  • Are the caregivers bonded?
  • Does the company offer workers’ compensation for their employees?
  • Ask for a list of references from their past clients.

Questions about Care

  • Does the company offer a personalized care plan for each of their clients? What is included in a care plan?
  • Is the care plan updated regularly?
  • How are caregivers matched with clients?
  • Does the company have a policy for communicating with family members and the client?

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Care Services in Houston TXQuestions about Caregiver Training and Selection Process

  • What is the process used for hiring caregivers?
  • Does the company conduct background checks on caregivers?
  • Is drug tests done? How often?
  • What type of training do caregivers receive?
  • Does the company require continuing education and training?
  • Will you be able to interview potential caregivers? Is there a fee associated with interviewing caregivers?

Questions about Company Policies

  • How are request or complaints handled?
  • Is it possible to replace a caregiver before the caregiver’s next shift?
  • What is the company policy for no-show or late caregivers?
  • Is there time minimums per shift or per work for caregivers?
  • Does the company specialize in certain types of care?
  • What services are not covered?
  • How are emergencies handled?
  • Are after hours phone calls answered by a staff member or an answering service?

Questions about Payment Methods

  • What are the forms of payment accepted?
  • Are there different rates for holidays, weekends or nights?
  • How often will you be billed?
  • Is there a deposit required for services?
  • Does the company accept long-term care insurance? If so, does the company bill the insurance company directly or will you need to pay the client and then file a reimbursement claim?

For more answer to your questions regarding senior in home care Houston contact Assisting Hands Houston today or call now for immediate assistance!

How To Save For Long Term Elder Care

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Money-Saving Strategies to Help Plan for Long-Term Care

Budgeting for a loved one’s long-term care can be a daunting task.

Assisting Hands Houston | Assisted Living Services in Houston TexasWhile many seniors have financial plans in place for retirement, through a personal savings account, 401(k), or pension plan, the cost of long-term care is often left out of these plans or the costs exceed their budget. As a result, many seniors end up needing specialized care when they don’t have the fund to cover the costs.

If a senior doesn’t have money saved away and they require long-term care, their loved ones might be left in a tight spot financially. Genworth Financial and CareScout conducted a survey finding that the national average cost for long-term care can range from $1,400 per month for adult day care services to almost $7,700 per month for a nursing home’s private room.

The odds that a family would not need to turn to some type of care assistance is not rare. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, almost 70% of adults over 65 years old will eventually need some type of long-term care.

Rather than taking risks, caregivers should begin working to save money for these long-term health care needs before it is needed.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

One of the best ways for you to plan ahead for your older loved one’s health support is to shop around for the best insurance plan. While Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurance may cover some of the related costs, they typically don’t offer comprehensive medical coverage.

Long-term care insurance supplements these programs. When you need to use it, you will pay less money out of pocket. AARP explained that long-term care is not a medical expense which is why this care may lead to coverage gaps.

Some of these plans may also be pricey. There are many financial institutions that offer these programs, take the time to research several companies and the type of plans available, along with the pricing. This will ensure you can afford to comfortably pay the premiums each month and still receive the coverage your loved one needs.

It’s important to remember that the policy’s prices tend to increase as your loved one ages. If you’re interested in long-term care insurance, don’t several more years, while your loved one ages or develops serious health concerns. If a person is young and healthy person takes out this type of policy, the policy premiums will be significantly lower.

Tips for Saving Money for Long-Term Care

While a supplemental insurance policy may be helpful to some families, others find that it’s more cost effective than just paying for a long-term care plan themselves. If that’s the case in your family, you need to begin saving. That will help you have a safety net on standby.

There are various ways to start saving up for your loved one’s health care cost. Here are some that can get you started:

Create a dedicated account for long-term care

Set up a new account to cover potential health care costs. Whether you opt to open a personal savings account at the bank or invest, this fund should be set aside to cover the needs of your loved ones. This account should not be used for other purposes, you can’t be tempted to pull the funds out to use for other expenses. Because these funds are limited, you may need to have an accurate understanding of which services you can afford when you need it.

Stick to a contribution schedule

U.S. News & World Report states that you would be likely to save money if you start small, this makes the process easier. Create a schedule for adding money to the savings account that will help you achieve your goals. Whether you start by adding 5 percent of your paycheck or $10 per week, pick an amount that’s affordable. Add these funds to the long-term care fund and a timeline for when you add these contributions.

Many financial organizations allow you to use auto debit to take money from your checking account and deposit it directly into a savings account on schedule. After you feel comfortable with your ability to save, you can increase how much money you add each time.

You must be conscious of your spending

The more cautious you are on your spending, the more funds you’ll have available to save. Time.com says you don’t have to deprive yourself of luxuries when trying to save. However, you need to be careful of the purchases you make.

You should use coupons, discounts, compare various brands, and consider which products and upgrades are truly needed when shopping. By being cautious, you won’t end up spending more money than necessary. You should examine the type of purchases you make and decide which are perks and which are necessities. You may find that there are routine expenditures you follow out of habit and not out of a regular, actual need.

If you need help deciding on the type of account you need to set up long-term care or the best way to save money, reach out to a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help create a system that works for you. Whichever way you decide to save, planning can take the stress out of long-term care that offers the best benefit to you and your loved one.

Call or contact Assisting Hands Houston with any of the questions you may have about home healthcare agencies in Houston. If you are interested in learning about the services we provide visit here.

What To Consider When Looking To Cosign A Loan For Your Loved One

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Co-Signing A Loan

Someone just asked if you would cosign on a loan. So should you do this or not? At times some elderly advocates may consider doing this for relatives or friends. If you do decide to cosign, how can you protect yourself? You might be asked at some point in time to cosign a loan for somebody else. At least theoretically “cosigning” basically means “co-borrowing.” It means that you are agreeing to be 100 percent – or completely – liable to repay the loan as well as all of its related costs, which includes the loan principle, penalties, interest, cost of suit and attorney’s fees, if the other signer doesn’t comply with the loan terms. In addition, even if the loan is paid by the other signer, but they skip payments or pay late, those lapses are going to show up on your personal credit report. Given that there are so many burdens involved with cosigning, you should consider taking the following steps before, during and after you cosign.

There are several questions you should answer before cosigning a loan. Since prospective creditors providing the loan are going to be a debt of yours, will cosign on the loan affect your ability to be able to borrow in some way? Since you will be completely responsible for the loan should the borrower default, will you be able to repay the loan as well as all of its associated costs? Sometimes indebtedness will affect tax exemptions and have other tax consequences as well, will your taxes be affected by cosigning the law? Since sometimes loans are secured by other types of property like jewelry, homes, cars, etc., are you going to be asked to pledge some of your valuable property for this loan and will you be willing to risk actually losing this property?

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder In Home Care Provider in Houston TexasSupposing that you answer all of the questions above in favor of cosigning for the individual; you will then move to the considerations and steps to take while cosigning. For example, there are some states that do allow you to ask for a certain limitation to be instituted in terms of what responsibilities you have for the loan. In these cases, you are ability limit what your liability is on the loan principle and associated charge. Ask the lender to put it in writing. The limitations may state that the co-signer is only responsible for the principle balance on the loan and/or any other specified things. In addition, you can ask that the written agreement from the lender provide you with a written notice if the other signer has any misstep, like missing a payment or being late on any payments, or if any changes are made to the loan. That will allow to you react to any problems there are with the loan before they come critical and an attorney or collections department pursues you for payment. A cosigner can also take an addition proactive step to ensure that they are designed as the receiver of payment requests so that you can stay on top of all of the payments. Another request that you can make is to ask that you be provided with the exact dollar amounts by the lender of what you will owe and what the monthly payments are if the other signer defaults. Given that you are considered to be a borrower, along with the other cosigner, you are entitled to receive copies of documents like the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure Statement, the loan contract, and warranties, definitely from the other borrower or the lender. In addition, in some states like California, a lender is required to provide you with a written statements of what your obligations and rights are as a cosigner. It is a good idea to collect all of these documents and keep copies of them, which can help you in the event that something goes wrong with the loan.

After the loan has been cosigned, get the other signer to make the loan payment to you instead of the lender, and then you make the loan payments. That way you can make sure that all payments are made on time and in full. Then make sure to keep records of all of the payments that the other signer makes to you and payments that you make to the lender. If you don’t make this kind of arrangement where you are paid and then you pay the lender, then you will leave yourself open to a potential default by the other signer. In this situation, check on the status of the loan repayment periodically so that you can take action to remedy any problems if they arise. Either way, you should make sure to keep all of the documents that you receive that are associated with the loan payments. In the event that the other individual faults and you cannot handle issues as they occur, then you will be subject to collection/credit problems in the same way that you would if you were the original borrow. If this occurs, you will want to consult with an attorney who specializes in collections/credit in order to safeguard your cosigner rights.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Co-signing A Loan

Co-signing a loan is a great way to help out a friend or family member in a time of need. The action can also put you in some serious financial trouble if handled incorrectly though, so make sure you consider the following do’s and don’ts before signing for anything:

The Do’s Of Co-signing A Loan

  • Think of your own financial future. Is signing this loan going to make it harder for you to borrow as well?
  • Prepare for the worst. If you’re going to co-sign for a loan, then you need to prepare as if you’ll have to pay the whole loan back yourself.
  • Understand the tax implications of signing for this loan. Your attorney or a licensed tax professional will be happy to consult you on the matter.
  • Figure out the collateral needed for this loan. You may be putting up property or assets that you aren’t willing to part with.
  • Attempt to get a limited liability clause, in writing, from the lender.
  • Ensure that you’re communicated with if any changes or problems occur.
  • Work with the lender to receive consistent payment updates.
  • Get copies of all documents, and keep them with your personal attorney.
  • Consider having the borrower pay you each month, and then you pay the loan payment.
  • Learn the collections process, just in case.

The Don’ts Of Co-Signing A Loan

  • Don’t let others dictate the process. You have the leverage here.
  • Don’t let emotion rule your decisions. Finances always need to be handled in a logical way.
  • Don’t work off of the honor system. You need to do everything legally possible to protect yourself in the case of default.

It’s a very good thing that you’re doing by considering being there for friends or family in a time of need. You can’t martyr yourself for their short-term financial gain though, so you need to approach a situation like this with a clear head. Make them give you reasons to say “yes” instead of you trying to find reasons to say “no”. Emotion can make that process to hard for you. In the end, you have to be prepared to say no if the risk is going to be more than you can stomach. This’ll be hard, as no one wants to say “no” to their loved ones if they can avoid it. Financial situations are hard to deal with, and it isn’t fair for you to ruin your personal situation to bail out someone who may not be doing their best to be responsible. The best thing you can do is to remove the emotion from the situation. You have the information that you need now to go through the process. Stay logical, be fair, and you can’t go wrong.

Growing up isn’t always the easiest. If you happen to be struggling with your decisions Assisting Hands Houston is here to help you with the process. Please call or contact us today for information regarding the services we provide, and the benefits of elder in-home care for your loved one.

Preventing Identity Theft For Your Loved Ones

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How to Protect Your Senior Parent’s From Identity Theft

In today’s world, anybody can become a victim of identity theft. Elderly people are no exception. Unfortunately, many elderly people do not know they are a victim of identity theft until unexplained charges show up on their credit cards or after their bank accounts are empty.

Identity theft occurs when a person steals another person’s back account number, social security number or other personal or financial information. This information is often used to apply for loans, obtain new credit card accounts, access and drain the victim’s bank accounts or obtain professional licenses, birth certificates, and driver’s licenses illegally.

Why Do They Target Seniors?

Many identity thieves see seniors as an easy target. Older people are often more vulnerable because many are trusting, lonely, and socially isolated. Others may be suffering from memory loss or dementia. This creates the perfect victim profile for an identity thief. Often, seniors are sitting ducks for these scammers.

How Do These Criminals Steal the Senior’s Identity?

The identity thieves are always creating new ways to gather information from their victims. There are several common ways these criminals steal identities.

Stealing Mail

Identity thieves will steal the senior’s mail. They are looking for tax information, checks, bank statements and credit card statements. They don’t just take these documents from the mail. Some thieves steal the senior’s garbage, to gain access to carelessly discarded personal and financial information.

Sending Mail

Instead of stealing mail, some thieves send mail to the senior. This mail appears to be from a trusted source, such as a well-known company, charitable organization, or the victim’s bank. The mail uses “official” letterhead to make the senior believe it is from the actual company.

Calling the Victim on the Phone

Some identity thieves call seniors, pretending to represent the senior’s financial institution or a charitable organization. Unfortunately, many seniors trust that the phone call is actually coming from the trusted source.

“Phishing” Online

Phishing is a common practice online. Identity thieves pretend to be a well=known company, like eBay, or a financial institution. They send spam messages to seniors asking them to “verify” their social security number or account information.

Swiping Credit Cards

Wait staff at restaurants and sales clerks can gain access to a person’s financial records every time a credit card is swiped for a purchase. They use a tiny scanning device that steals the card numbers, then they are able to use the cards. They can run up an exorbitant bill before the senior is even aware that their credit card information was stolen.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder In Home Care ServicesHow to Prevent Identity Theft

It’s important to remember that identity theft can happen on the phone, in a store or restaurant, online or in person. Do not share your personal information through the mail, on the phone, or on the internet unless you know who the receiver is and have initiated the contact where the information is to be provided.

Buy a Cross Cut Shredder

You or your senior parent should shred all sensitive mail and documents, including credit card offers, bank statements, credit card statements, and tax documents. Don’t just throw these papers in the trash. A thief can go through the trash and steal any information they find.

Guard Credit Cards

When your parent’s hand wait staff, salespeople, or anyone who needs to complete a sale, tell them to watch those people closely. Thieves use a tiny scanner called a skimmer to steal numbers. If they have unused or rarely used cards, get rid of them. The fewer cards your parents have the easier it is to monitor their use. Only provide your credit card information if you absolutely must.

Don’t Let Anyone Copy Your Parent’s Driver’s License

If a person has a copy of your parent’s license, they can gain access to their personal data, bank accounts and other things you want to protect. The exception is using a license to verify a check. However, you should not let someone take the entire license to use the other information on it, which is never necessary.

Mail Letters at the Post Office or a Postal Box

Your parents should try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in their home mailbox. Identity thieves can steal payment slips and checks from your parent’s mail, take the information and use it to steal their identity. The scammers can use the information to get new credit cards in your parent’s name and rob them of all they can get.

Never Provide Personal Information On The Phone

Phone solicitors often offer rewards and prizes as a way to trick people into providing their social security number, bank account information, or mother’s maiden name. With this information, a scammer can wipe out a person’s bank account in minutes.

If your parents order checks, have them delivered to a post office box or to the bank, do not have them shipped to your home address.

How Common Is Identity Theft Among Seniors?

No one can say how many seniors are scammed each year, or even tell the percentage of fraud that targets seniors. According to the Federal Trade Commission that compiles lists of identity theft complaints, nine million Americans have their identities stolen annually. However, this list is made up of victims who voluntarily registered by e-mail or over the phone.

How can you help your senior parents protect themselves? According to the Federal Trade Commission’s 2014 report, about 19 people become a victim of theft each minute.

We need to start by educating our aging parents that it’s dangerous to trust people on the phone. We also need to warn them that even their own children can steal their identity if they’re desperate enough. Mental illness, serious financial trouble, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse are all factors that can lead an adult child to steal their parent’s bank account numbers during a visit and raid their parent’s back accounts later. Adult children have been caught taking from the people most likely to trust them, their aging parents.

Seniors must be educated to stay alert for these dangers in their family and among their friends. If there is a ” black sheep” in the family with substance abuse issues or serious financial trouble, they should be considered a risk.

Is it possible to thwart an attempt to steal your aging parent’s identities? Even if it’s difficult, we should at least take protective measures. Often the simple solutions are the best.

Assisting Hands Houston is Houston’s #1 provider for elder in home care and assisted living. Visit here to review the other services we offer. Contact us or call today with any further questions you may have.

Assisting Hands Houston Addresses Stroke Prevention

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Does Stroke Prevention Help Decrease The Risk For Dementia?

There are many precautionary measures that a person can take to ensure that their heart and brain health is doing well, this will help them to age well.

Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America per the Center for Disease Control. Other conditions on the list include cancer, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. As you age, the risk for all of these conditions rises which makes it important that you follow the right preventative measures to prevent such conditions.

Around the world, researchers are seeking answers to how these conditions form. Recently, researchers from the University of Western Ontario spent time on a study for stroke prevention for those over the age of 80. To help prevent strokes, we know that people must improve their diet, increase their exercises and this is yielding positive results to lower their stroke rates, however, it may also help in preventing dementia.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Home Care Houston TXThere is a link between dementia and strokes. When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or slows, it may raise the risk for both strokes and dementia. According to the researchers in Western Ontario, there are some extreme lifestyle changes that can be made to help prevent strokes. These will help to combat the symptoms of stroke and dementia. High cholesterol, as an example, may lead to a plaque which can clog arteries. Thus, eating a healthier diet may help to lower cholesterol and thus prevent the risk of stroke and dementia.

Anyone who has had a stroke is at double the risk to develop vascular dementia according to the researchers. They will have a higher risk of memory loss, reasoning issues, judgment problems, and planning issues. As the blood supply is disrupted to the brain in a stroke, it also reduces the amount of oxygen which may cause permanent damage that may, in turn, lead to dementia.

When the researchers at University of Western Ontario were doing their research, they noted that there was a drop in the rate of strokes in the study participants that would lead to fewer cases of dementia. However, strokes aren’t the single cause of vascular dementia, blood clots, cardio issues, and even diabetes may all impact the flow of blood and reduce or cut off the oxygen levels to the person’s brain and cause serious damage to their cognitive abilities. This, in turn, can contribute to dementia. Following the same measures that will improve circulation to the brain and prevent strokes also were noted to prevent dementia.

It’s important that caregivers encourage their loved ones to remain active and reduce their risk of strokes and vascular dementia.

Preventing strokes and dementia is often just a matter of following a proper diet and good exercise. As these lifestyle changes are presented patients should also keep in mind that reducing or eliminating tobacco products and sticking to a healthier diet and lifestyle will go far in helping to reduce the incidence of stroke and dementia. The incidence of strokes has dropped by 37.9 percent by following these measures and dementia has dropped by 15.4 percent. While little can be done about a genetic predisposition to such conditions, there are steps that can help to reduce the severity if one will follow a healthier diet and add in proper exercise.

According to the National Stroke Association or NSA, proper nutrition to prevent strokes includes:

  • Eating a variety of vegetables including both starches and leafy greens
  • Eating more fresh and whole fruits
  • Following a fat-free and low-fat diet especially with dairy products
  • Eating more whole-grain foods
  • Consuming lean proteins
  • Using heart-healthy oils

The NSA has also recommended that you not add sugar, sodium or trans fats to your diet. These should make up less than ten percent of a person’s daily diet.

It’s also vital to limit the intake of alcohol and men should have no more than two drinks per day while women shouldn’t have more than one drink per day. No tobacco should be used. Smoking especially can double the risk of the incidence of strokes and dementia. This can lead to the plaque buildup in the body and affect the required amounts of blood to the brain.

Exercise will help to strengthen the lungs and the heart and this will improve the blood circulation to the brain. Adults should have at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week. This can include brisk walks. They should also strive for two days worth of muscle strengthening such as weight lifting. Working things like crossword puzzles will also help to improve the health of the brain per Assisting Hands of Houston, which promotes Independent Senior Living Houston.

Always check with your doctor prior to starting any type of new diet or exercise to ensure that the person is well enough to participate in such activities. Some medications will interact with some diets so always have a doctor monitor any dietary changes as well. These steps may help to prevent strokes and vascular dementia.

We at Assisting Hands Houston hope that the information we have provided you not only helps your loved ones but also helps you to be a better caregiver. Please contact us or call today if you have any questions regarding elder in-home care or assisted living for your loved ones.

A Guide To Effective Caregiving In Houston Texas

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How To Be An Effective Caregiver Without Burning Out

Being An Effective Caregiver Also Means Caring For Yourself

There is a common misconception that people who are caregivers have to put all of their needs aside, only focusing on the person who is in their care. In a way, it is like they are expected to check their own feelings at the door, only focusing on what the other person wants or needs. This image of a caregiver requires them to sacrifice their wants and needs in order to support the person that they are caring for.

In reality, however, it is impossible to separate yourself from your emotions when you are a caregiver. As much as you try to focus on the other person, certain emotions are bound to bubble up during the process. It is important to learn more about what it is really like to care give for another person so that you can effectively deal with the feelings that you experience throughout the process.

Ask For Help If You Need It

One of the biggest mistakes that caregivers make is trying to do too much. Providing around-the-clock care for someone else can be physically and emotionally draining. In many cases, you may need to get professional help. If you are like many caregivers, the thought of hiring someone to assist with the process can feel like you are being weak or like you are giving up. In fact, however, getting support from a trained professional can make you more effective at caring for your loved one by keeping you from getting exhausted and overwhelmed.

Take Care Of Yourself

If you don’t take care of your own health and your own emotional needs, you won’t be able to effectively care for someone else. There are limits on what you can do. You need to be aware of these limits and take care not to push yourself too hard. Otherwise, you could burn out.

Emotional Responses Are Normal

it is impossible to care for another person without having your emotions come into play. Along with feelings of love and compassion, you may experience some negative emotions that catch you off guard. For instance, you may find yourself feeling frustrated or discouraged. These types of feelings are totally normal and are to be expected. You shouldn’t feel like you are a bad person or like you have done anything wrong if you find yourself experiencing emotions that could be considered negative.

Take A Break If You Need It

No one can be expected to care for another person around-the-clock without having to take a break every now and then. It is important to stop and nurture your body and your mind so that you have the physical and emotional strength to care for the other person.

Caring for someone else can be an emotional roller coaster. One way to keep everything in perspective is to remind yourself of why you decided to become a caregiver in the first place. At the same time, you should be aware of how you are feeling so that you can gauge when you need a break. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or to take time off to recharge your batteries if you need to.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Care Houston Texas

Senior living communities in Houston can be a good resource if you need assistance caring for a loved one. They can provide professional in-home care that takes some of the burdens off of your shoulders, allowing you to stay healthy and strong so that you can support your loved one in the best possible way.

Trying to figure out the best course of action to take when it comes to caring for an elderly loved one can be challenging. Hiring a professional caregiver to provide advice and assistance can help make the process easier. Instead of being physically and emotionally overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks associated with being a caregiver, you can stay strong so that you can provide your loved one with the emotional support that they need.

A Short Guide On Bringing Up Senior In Home Care

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Use These Seven Tips To Bring Up Senior Care Without Causing Any Hurt Feelings

Caring for an older parent is not an easy experience. Eventually, the need for senior care will arise and you will have to bring up this topic. Did you know that 69% of senior citizens need senior care but only 37% believe that they need this service? Accepting that one is getting older and needs help with daily tasks is not easy, which is why deciding it’s time for senior living or talking about senior care puts you in a challenging position.

Senior care can make a person feel like they are being discarded and remind them of their age or health problems. You know that you are taking care of your parents or older relatives because you love them and want what is best for them, but the person who needs senior care might not see things that way. Senior care can be a beneficial thing, both for you and for your older relative. This is not something you should put off if you’re taking care of someone who needs this service.

The key is to make your relative feel loved and honored. Use these seven conversation starters to bring up senior care without causing any hurt feelings.

1. Tell Them Why Senior Care Would Be Beneficial

You can’t bluntly tell your older relative that they need senior care because of a health problem. Don’t tell them that senior care would be beneficial because there are things they need help with or because assisted living benefits many other people. Instead, you should think of why your loved one would benefit from senior care. Think of things that would improve their standard of life and be interesting to them. Look into different senior living Houston TX options to get a better idea of the perks and amenities offered.

You could for instance mention activities, perks like fitness rooms or even the possibility of having a more active social life. Pay attention to how your loved one is responding. Some activities and perks might not sound interesting to them but others will sound like things that would improve their life.Assisting Hands Houston | Assisted Living in Houston TX

You need to build trust with your loved one. Find out about different facilities so you can really choose the place that will be best for them. Talk to them to find out more about the things they would be interested in and about what they would expect from an assisted living facility.

2. Honesty And Respect Go A Long Way

Talking about assisted living is difficult. Be honest about your feelings and about why you think this solution would be beneficial. Be polite, respectful and remember that your loved one is a person with feelings.

Keep in mind that your loved one might feel like a problem or a burden when you bring up assisted living. Explain that assisted living is needed because of the circumstances and not because of them.

Remember that senior care is needed in order to improve your loved one’s life. This is what you should focus on when you bring up this topic. Don’t make the conversation about you and about your needs and take the time to really listen to what your loved one has to say. Make them feel loved and respected and encourage them to tell you how they feel about senior care and what it would take for them to be happy in this setting.

3. Your Loved One’s Feelings Matter

Your loved one needs to feel that you are listening to them and that you care about their feelings. Listen to what they have to say and answer all their questions. Remember that this is a difficult topic and that their initial reaction might be to feel hurt and unwanted. You need to validate these emotions.

Moving into a senior living Houston TX facility represents a big step. Your loved one’s daily routine and habits are going to change drastically and they are probably experiencing anxiety at the idea of an uncertain future. They need to be reassured that their needs and quality of life will come first.

4. Redirect The Conversation On The Benefits

Your loved one is going to ask some questions about assisted living. You need to be honest and explain how it will be beneficial to them. Remember that this is not about you but about your relative.

If all your answers are about yourself, your circumstances and your obligations, your loved one is going to feel that they are a burden and that assisted living is a solution to a problem. Instead, you should focus on explaining how moving into a senior living Houston TX facility would improve their life.

5. Give Them Specific Reasons And Benefits

Your loved one will probably fail to see why assisted living would be beneficial if you stay vague and talk about their quality of life without mentioned specific things. Besides, being too vague might make your loved one feel that you are not being honest or that you don’t care about their needs.

Assisting Hands Houston | "The Talk" With Your Loved OneYour loved one needs to be reassured that you care about them and needs to know what to expect from assisted living. Mentioning specific activities, perks and benefits will help your loved one get a clearer idea of what their life in an assisted living Houston TX facility would be like. This will help ease their anxiety and they will begin understanding how senior care could be a good thing for them.

6. Make Them A Part Of The Process

Your loved one needs to feel involved in this process. Besides, it will easier to select the right senior care facility in the Houston area if you take the time to find out about the things that matter to them. Make them a part of the research process. Look at floor plans together and talk about different perks and amenities to see what gets them excited.

Schedule a tour of the places your loved one seems excited about. Don’t hesitate to visit several places. Ask your loved one how they feel about the place you are visiting.

7. Communicate And Build A Strong Bond

Your loved one might be worried about being more isolated from their family once they move into a senior care Houston TX facility. It is important to build a strong bond with your loved one. You need to visit them regularly and have follow-up conversations about assisted living. This is a difficult topic to bring up and your loved one might develop some hurt feelings if you have an initial conversation but don’t bring up the topic again to mention specific things that would benefit them.

Tell your loved one that they are important and loved. Remind them that their lives are important. This is what senior care is for and it is important that your loved one understands this.

For more information on the services we provide for your loved ones when looking into assisted living in Houston or elder in home care, please call us today at 281-540-7400!