For dessert this evening, thanks to the birthday of one of our members Lion Pat Nemmers (and her willingness to provide a very nice cake to share) we celebrated the birthdays and anniversaries of our members in the month of August.
At tonight’s meeting our guest speaker was Joyce Loebsack, Joyce is a Geriatric Care Manager and LIFT Coordinator. LIFT stands for Living Information For Today and is sponsored by the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. A link to L.I.F.T. can be found HERE.
The topic of her presentation was: “Things We Need To Think About As We Age”. These topics relate mostly to safety and quality of life. As we age and continue to live active lives we can sometimes forget that our bodies may not be as agile as they once were and our brains may not be quite as sharp as when we were younger. Some things to keep in mind are:
Safety At Home:
- Unsafe electrical wiring – Is your home able to accommodate a wheelchair or waker if necessary?
- Steps – Consider getting a ramp and make sure you have something to melt ice in the winter
- Rugs – Can be a serious trip hazard, consider using non-skid runners or something to keep them in place
- Some experts recommend removing them completely
- Falls are a serious issue as we age
- 1 in 3 older adults falls at least once per year. And 20% – 30% of those experience injury
- In 2020 the associated costs are expected to reach $55 Billion
- Many falls are preventable
- Make sure you have ample lighting and switches at the top and bottom of steps
- Use rails where possible
- Use night-lights in bathrooms and paths there
- Keep a flashlight near your bed in case of power outage
- When climbing stairs – never hurry or rush and try to carry with one hand so the other is free to use a railing
- Remove cords from walkways
- Tubs – Use a hand rail or get a bench to assist getting in and out
- Consider getting a Lifeline – with a GPS – so you can wear it everywhere and get help if you need it
- Make sure your passwords are documented and someone knows how to find them
- Share important financial information with your family
- Make sure your legal documents are in order: Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, etc.
- Some of the forms can be downloaded from the State of North Carolina web site but working with an attorney is best
- Be careful of scams and shady contractors who prey on the elderly
Assessing Mental And Physical Status:
- It is natural to develop concerns as we age
- If you need help with food preparation consider Meals On Wheels
- If you need help with cleaning, lawn care, grocery pickup, etc. there are often volunteer agencies that can help – call Resources For Seniors
- Consider alternative housing options – Independent Senior Apartments, Continuing Care Communities, Assisted Living Facilities, etc.
For more information contact Joyce Loebsack at 919-218-5656 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org