07/21/2021September marks six years that I have worked at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM). It has been six years of journeying alongside older adults and their caregivers. When reflecting on this time many things stand. Two that stand out are the resilience of older adults and their caregivers' dedication, and an overall sense of urgency to share with all persons the need for a caregiver plan.
06/14/2021As the summer season approaches, everyone will be spending time outdoors soaking up the sunshine. Especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, more activities will continue to be outdoors too. While this is great, as west Michigan is beautiful during the summer, it is essential to stay hydrated to avoid dehydration.
03/29/2021The focus of April is National Garden Month. As a kid, I always hated to weed. I disliked seeing that chore listed on the list, especially on hot summer days. However, something changed for me in my adult life and the task of weeding no longer fills me with disgust. When I look back at what changed, I discovered some of the benefits of gardening.
02/24/2021Early on in the COVID 19 Pandemic, it was identified that many of the social determinants of health factors including poverty, physical environment, and race/ethnicity have a considerable effect on COVID-19 outcomes.
01/27/2021In February hearts are everywhere. Heart-shaped candy boxes, window stickers, cards, and any and everything else you could possibly think of. Valentine’s Day makes us think about love and all of the hearts except for the most important one, the heart inside of our chest. The heart in our chest is the heart that should be top of mind not just in February, but all year long.
01/04/2021Do you find yourself feeling anxious, sad, or hopeless because of the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you are not alone.
12/11/2020Although we have had months to prepare and we should be ready for a holiday season during a pandemic, we are not ready. How do you prepare for something you have never done before?
10/30/2020The topic of long term care is not something that most people want to talk about but is something that inevitably, either planned or unplanned, will come up.
09/17/2020Studies have found that many older adults fear their loss of independence more than they fear death. Needing assistance does not mean losing independence. There is no quick fix or road map that works for everyone to navigate these fears and the inevitable need for assistance. However, there are a variety of resources and support options available to help meet the needs of individuals in home and provide relief caregivers who may feel overwhelmed and strained while helping their loved ones.
08/19/2020We have heard the words “safe at home” a lot this year. However, for some home is not a place that is safe for them, and now more than ever there is a need to make home a place that promotes both mental and physical health and wellbeing. One way to help make home a safer place is by getting organized. Many do not know this, but scientists have found that clutter in your home or being overly disorganized can have negative impacts on your safety, mental and physical wellbeing, and even on your relationships and caregivers.
05/20/2020Everyone knows that if you have a car you have to insure it with at least “PLPD”, and that car insurance is not cheap. But do you know what you are paying for; do you know what “No-Fault” insurance is?
04/16/2020What is 60 days? In the matter of a lifetime or even just a year 60 days seems small and goes quickly. However, this year, just 60 days ago our lives were seemingly normal. Due to COVID 19 and the coronavirus, the same cannot be said about today or even what is to come in the next 60 days. At this time, when I write this article there is not a set date as to when things will get back to normal, or even what normal will be like.
03/05/2020With over five million people in the US with Alzheimer’s/ dementia today and this number expected to grow exponentially every year, it is of vital importance to empower the family and professional caregivers with support and dementia care skills. Providing care that yields positive outcomes for both the person living with Alzheimer’s/dementia and the caregiver is very important and challenging. To help, I provide a few things every Alzheimer’s/dementia caregiver must know.
02/13/2020Whether you are living at home, or in an assisted living facility, learning a new hobby is a low-cost, high return activity. Many hobbies require few materials and are easy to administer. The benefits to your health, however, are invaluable.
12/30/2019What is a stroke? And how can you reduce your risk of a stroke by implementing healthy lifestyle changes.
10/09/2019Long-term care is not always a favorite topic for people to discuss; however, it is a topic that does arise in people’s lives, sometimes planned and sometimes unexpectedly. Long-term care may be an option for individuals when they begin to need more help on a daily basis due to a disability or chronic illness. Long-term care can include a variety of services, such as personal care, medication management, meals, homemaking, and around-the-clock supervision. The type of services and the amount of care that are offered may vary from person to person, based on each individual’s unique needs. Before pursuing “long-term care,” it is important for individuals to have an understanding of the different kinds of care offered so they can be prepared in planning for the next situation ahead of them.
08/15/2019One of the greatest fears people have as they age is the loss of independence. In fact, many people assume that eventually their independence will be lost and they will end up in long term care. Unfortunately, as a result, many people do not seek help until they are in a crisis. This does not have to happen. Needing assistance does not mean losing independence. There are a number of resources and services available to help older adults age in place.
01/22/2019Quality of Life is a term often used to describe a life that is worth living. How do you give your loved one the best possible life living with dementia?
09/10/2018Estate planning is not something that most people want to think about, and we often excuse ourselves from it based on time or expense. Basic estate planning is something every adult should have in place.
06/19/2018It seems that as people get older not only do they need as much sleep as they did when they were younger, but they also may need somewhat more.
06/01/2018Not all memory-related issues are due to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is, however, the most common cause of dementia and accounts for about 70 percent of all dementia.
05/17/2018Long-term care may be an option for individuals when they begin to need more help on a daily basis due to a disability or chronic illness. Before pursuing “long-term care,” it is important for individuals to have an understanding of the different kinds of care offered so they can be prepared in planning for next situation ahead of them.
04/04/2018Many people might think about getting older and what the future might hold for them, and there are different perspectives on how to view this topic. One common theme is that individuals would like to remain as independent as possible...
01/29/2018A key part of every health care encounter is letting your health care team know what matters most to you. For most of us, our best advocate will be ourselves or someone who knows us very well.
01/04/2018As the New Year approaches, consider making a resolution to increase your ability to handle life’s challenges more effectively. Enhancing these skills will help you feel more self-confident and be more competent when life is hard.
11/14/2017The holiday season can be a stressful time—whether you are dealing with family or mingling at work holiday parties. Try these mindfulness strategies to reduce stress and bring a calm and attentive approach to your holiday this year.
10/10/2017Does a guilty or shameful feeling ever bubble up inside you at the words ‘self-care?’ I often ask my clients about their relationship with self-care. What usually follows is a glassed-over look as the quiet word ‘nothing’ whispers from their lips. Guilt and shame are stuck all over ‘self-care.’ I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be so. You do not have to feel guilty or shameful any longer.
06/30/2017Exploring different long-term care options available in our community