Many older people take medications that have diuretic effects. Medications that can cause an increased output of urine include some that are commonly prescribed for conditions like high blood pressure or kidney disease. These can result in an individual losing more water than they are taking in. Kidney function often declines as we age. The kidneys are less able to retain water, which is due in part to the fact that they decrease in mass by between 20 and 25 percent between the ages of 30 and 80. Conditions such as incontinence can cause even greater water loss and thus create a greater risk of dehydration. Additionally, some seniors may decrease their water intake due to fear of incontinence. Studies have shown that the mechanism responsible for the sensation of thirst often declines as we age which means that many older people are often unable to tell when they need to take in fluids. Signs of Dehydration in the Elderly Dehydration can result in weakness and dizziness, which can increase the risk of an elderly person falling. Caregivers must be vigilant for signs of dehydration which include: Decreased or darker colored urine Lethargy Constipation Dizziness Being irritable Rapid pulse Sunken eyes Muscle cramps The most important way to combat dehydration is to ensure that they take in water throughout the day even when they do not feel thirsty. Fluids should be offered to them constantly and made readily available by keeping cups of water close to them at all times. Along with water, their preferred beverages should also be supplied. Raw fruit, juice and ice pops may also be used to keep an older individual hydrated. The minimum amount of water an individual needs depends on how much they weigh. A rule of thumb for this is an ounce for every two pounds of body weight.
As we get older, our eyes tend to become worse. Over time, if you aren't staying healthy by eating right and exercising, serious eye problems will evolve. These eye problems can create vision loss. If caught on time, the elderly may be able to prolong or prevent vision loss altogether. Glaucoma - The elderly have always been known to have issues with glaucoma. Fluid pressure blocks the regular flow of water between the lens and the cornea. If this issue isn't taken care of immediately, vision loss and even blindness are likely. Eye infections or other injuries can also cause glaucoma, but are less likely to create problems compared to bad health, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, which cause glaucoma more often than not. Cataracts - Light has trouble passing through to the point where an image is processed because there is a cloud-type speck blocking it. The entire lens can sometimes be covered with these cloudy areas. Some of these cloudy areas are small, and others can grow over time. Either way, surgery can remove Cataracts in one's eyes. Diabetic Retinopathy - Diabetics or those with higher than normal blood sugar levels should be very careful with their eating habits. If not, diabetic retinopathy is when the eye's blood vessels are destroyed. When this happens, nutrients cannot pass through to keep the entire eye strong and healthy. Every thing that our bodies do on a daily basis requires adequate nutrients, and this includes seeing and reading. Sugar has been known to destroy entire bodies, not just the eyes. So the elderly need to watch their diets very carefully. Presbyopia - Small, close objects become difficult to see. Starting in the 40's, presbyopia becomes annoying. Over time, it can get worse, but reading glasses can easily correct this eye problem. Simple contacts can also do the trick. Age-Related Macular Degeneration - For those over the age of 60, macular degeneration is the #1 cause of vision loss. The center of the retina slowly destructs. The retina is the part of the eye that senses light, and is also a nerve tissue. There are 2 types of macular degeneration: Dry Form - The dry form is not as harsh in terms of vision loss. Yellow deposits in the macula are present however and can cause small changes in vision. This type of macular degeneration becomes worse if the number of the yellow deposits increase in number and size. In advanced stages, atrophy occurs on a cellular level causing death to the tissue itself. Central vision is lost by the elderly who have this age-related eye problem. Wet Form - Abnormal blood vessels grow and end up leaking out blood and other fluids into the retina. Vision becomes distorted and blind spots appear with wet form macular degeneration in the elderly. Staying healthy is vital and central to good health, especially when it comes to the elderly. The elderly must take better care of their bodies in order to live long healthy lives. This is usually obvious, but it's always good to have plenty of reminders.
With access to social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, people around the world can connect and interact with their family members, friends, and communities (both near and far) within a virtual space. This digital forum of communication and entertainment promotes the extension of personal networks and helps maintain strong relationships within them by increasing our perceived proximity to the people we care about. There are many benefits for older adults living in retirement communities to use social media on a regular basis: Decrease feelings of isolation Provide users with the abilities to share narratives about themselves Post pictures and videos from their daily lives Read updates from other users Participate in free video calls with loved ones Play games with others Social media websites keep us more connected with the people and communities around us than ever before. To utilize these social media tools fully, it’s important for seniors to understand what they are, how they work, and just how easy they are to use with a little practice and support. The following descriptions are meant to help communicate the key elements of Facebook and Twitter to new users and to highlight the value of each tool. Facebook is the largest online social network, with over 1.1 billion registered users from all over the planet. The purpose of Facebook is to allow people to connect with others that they know, once knew, or have met. At a minimum, the people you add to your Facebook network are your acquaintances, but most will be family and friends. An acquaintance, for example, could be an old classmate you lost touch with or maybe a coworker from a past career. On Facebook, they refer to all the people in your network as a “friend”. You choose who your “friends” are and you can deny accepting someone as a “friend” if you want to. Your Facebook “friends” can view your personal profile, which is a collection of information about you. You decide what information you share in your profile. Typically, people share their birthday, a few photos, and maybe a couple of personal interests, such as your favorite book or hobby. Whenever you share something on Facebook, for instance a picture or a comment, your “friends” can see it. Essentially, your “friends” have access to all of the things you share on Facebook, and you have access to all of the things that they share. Another fun feature of Facebook is the multitude of free games you can play, both alone and with your “friends”. It’s amazing to think that we can play a match of Scrabble with someone online, even if we are at different ends of the country :) Twitter, unlike Facebook, is a social networking tool that enables users to connect with people and organizations they do not know personally, like an author, celebrity, or a brand (like Coke or Microsoft). Friends and family can also be in your Twitter network, but knowing everyone personally is not necessary. Twitter calls the people in your network “followers”. All of your “followers” can see everything you decide to share on Twitter. The idea here is that you share small comments that describe what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, or maybe an opinion you have; all said in 140 characters. Each user, including the brands/organizations, put Twitter updates online regularly for all “followers” to see, which means there is a lot of information floating around. As a result of its vast user base and instantaneous connectivity to everyone using the tool, Twitter has become one of today’s leading news/media sources. As news happens, updates are put on Twitter in real time, spreading the information like wild fire. It almost makes newspapers, which report stories the day after they happen, seem obsolete. Having access to basic computer technologies and the Internet makes the virtual world of social media available to everyone who knows how to use it. For this reason, it’s essential that retirement communities provide free use of computer devices that are current and well maintained. More importantly, seniors need guidance and support when moving into this digital realm, to help point them in the right direction, build confidence and establish comfort with technology. With these elements, retirement communities and the people who reside in them will be part of the normal, digital world that continues to unfold.
Are you searching for ways to help residents better understand you in face-to-face conversations? Here are 10 ways to improve your message, summarized from my training programs for retirement communities: Don’t talk too fast. Many retirement community staffers are younger and speak as if they were talking to their same-age friends. Remember: their ability to get what you are saying is in direct proportion to how complex the information is. Speak more slowly without appearing to be patronizing. Use your hands. Normal gestures can help them understand. Take a cue from how residents and their older visitors communicate with their hands. Control the setting. Use a well-lit area. Sit face-to-face, if you can, not off to one side or the other. As you know, hearing and vision declines increase with aging. The person may be lip-reading, especially prevalent with older males. No quick movements which can interfere with attention. Even if you’re under time pressure and may be apt to rush what you are saying, stifle the urge. Unnecessary movements also may send a message that you may be out of control. Don’t glance at your wristwatch. It signals that you have other things to do. Better to say: “We have another few minutes, let’s cover the following.” Speak in a slightly louder tone. But, don’t shout. Choose common, everyday words in place of technical words. Enunciate words clearly. Stay in a logical sequence; avoid distracting conversation. The person may not be hearing all the words but may understand by the context of your words. Repeat or paraphrase. Keep hands away from your mouth when speaking because it could muffle words. Don’t change the topic abruptly. Explain abstract concepts, using examples from their lives. It’s best if you relate to events and things they remember. Use words that strengthen their sense of independence. All in all, they want to remain independent. They want to make their own decisions, if possible. Repeat your questions. Do so, if it appears they don’t get what it is you are asking for. Continue to go back to the basic points you want to make. Re-enforcing your points frequently helps their understanding, aids recall and overcomes memory loss. It’s also helpful to use their own words as they respond to yours.
It’s quite easy for busy healthcare professionals (especially those working overnight shifts) to grab something quick and convenient, and not so healthy. However, some of these quick bites can not only make you a little cranky, they can leave you feeling downright depressed. Here’s a look at some bad mood foods and the simple swaps you can make to lift your spirits and your health. Your morning bagel (or any other white grain). Carbohydrates fuel the production of serotonin, your brain's main feel-good neurotransmitter, which activates receptors that help control your mood and appetite. Of course, not all carbs are created equal. Unhealthy white grains like bagels, white pasta and white bread can cause a quick spike and then dip in blood sugar. The result? You’ll feel lethargic and cranky 30 to 45 minutes after loading up on refined carbs. Feel-good swap. Replace refined grains with whole-grains like whole-grain cereal, rice and oatmeal. Whole grains are digested more slowly than refined grains, which will help keep your blood sugar—and mood—stable. Your daily soda(s). Soda consumption has decreased over the past decade, but Americans still love their bubbly drinks—it’s estimated that the average American drinks around 44 gallons of soda a year! Sodas are not only filled with empty calories, but they are loaded with sugar. Some research has found that the ingredients in soda can confuse the appetite-regulating hormones in the digestive tract. After the initial sugar rush of guzzling a soda, your mood may plummet and your appetite may skyrocket. Feel-good swap: If carbonation is what you crave, try seltzer water with a slice of lemon or splash of 100% fruit juice. Your French fry or fried food habit. No doubt about it, fried foods taste good. Ok, they usally taste great. But with a frightening amount of bad fats, high sodium and refined carbs, fried foods can wreak havoc on your mind and body. You can probably recall the feeling you get after inhaling a fast food value meal—bloated, tired and almost sick. Feel-good swap: Fat isn’t your enemy—the key is eating the right type of fat. Healthy fats that contain omega-3s are known to support brain-cell function and positive moods. Walnuts and fish, especially salmon and sardines, are prime sources. Low-fat milk that's fortified with DHA is also a good choice for healthy fats. “Junk food drags you down.” —Miranda Lambert
If we can crack the code of what’s going on in the mind of the hardest person to sell to on the planet, we can sell to anyone! This weekend, we (my husband, my daughter and I) went car shopping. Our initial strategy was to buy a new vehicle for my husband to drive until my son was ready to go off to medical school – when he would take the new car. So we were “shopping” on behalf of a family member who wasn’t there. And all three of us are different types of buyers with different buying objectives and styles. (Sound familiar?) You'll see some familiar parallels to your prospects, their feelings and their objections (spoken and unspoken). Here's my story: We are a very practical family. But we have our quirks. My husband is very analytical and researches extensively before he makes a decision. I’m the toughest buyer you’ve met. I know what I like and what I don’t like. My daughter would have bought every single car we looked at. She was excited and showed it (I think she worked for the dealerships!) We buy dependable, quality cars and drive them forever. So our purchases are long term and we don’t make them lightly. We visited 3 dealerships and looked at countless vehicles. The first dealership is the one we expected to buy from, but left disappointed. At the second dealership we were window shopping out of our price range and we told the salesman we weren’t serious buyers. The third dealership was a spontaneous visit and turned out to be the best experience. At two of the dealerships, the salesman made comments about how tough I was to sell to. Salesman #1 took my daughter aside and said, “Your mom is tough! Is she a lawyer? What would it take to get her to buy?” My daughter retorted, “Give her what she wants!” (Good advice!) I confess: I am the hardest person on the planet to sell to. If you can sell to me, you can sell to anyone. Here’s how to sell to the toughest buyer on the planet. Don’t blow smoke up their skirt. We pick up on that right away and then our defenses go up even more. At dealership #1, they made feeble attempts to personally connect. We knew what we wanted to see, but they insisted on following their “steps”. They weren’t genuine or natural and didn’t match our tone. They’d have been better off skipping the attempts and just giving us what we wanted (show us the product). Be genuine and be flexible. Don’t “fabricate” a discount. Dealership #1 had sticker pricing (with discount) posted on the vehicle and when it was time to negotiate “their best price”, they put on a production: kept us waiting for 10 minutes while they brought out the “manager” who showed us a website, printed out a quote with “best price”, only to end up a half hour later at the very same price on the vehicle sticker. We were insulted. Just tell people the truth. Show them options based on their feedback. We went into dealership #1 with a particular vehicle in mind. But after the test drive (tour) we were clearly lackluster and communicated that there was no “wow” factor. The salesman offered nothing (and lost the sale). At dealership #3, when we were looking at a different vehicle and complained that we were looking for a bit of “wow” factor, the salesman said, “Oh, if you’re looking for “wow” factor, you should see this…” and he steered us to a different vehicle that we hadn’t yet considered. Coincidently, that is the vehicle that we eventually decided on. Yes, it’s an upgrade in price also. Handle their unspoken, but clear, objections. I mentioned my husband is a heavy researcher. He knew everything about every vehicle we planned to consider. And he researched (on the spot) all the ones we hadn’t planned on. Dealership #1 salesman actually contradicted the research my husband presented. He practically argued with him…which cost him credibility. By contrast, when presented with online ratings, Dealership #3 salesman offered additional sites showing the vehicle’s high ratings. He added to my husband’s knowledge and fed his need for information in a positive way. Interesting conclusions: Because of dealership #3’s salesmanship, we are likely going to spend more than our anticipated budget. He gently guided us, responded to our concerns and “upgraded” us naturally. Within an hour of leaving dealership #1, we got a call from a different sales manager who thanked us for coming in. It was a nice touch, but she didn’t offer anything new (plus we had already left). While at dealership #3, the manager stopped by to introduce himself, and told us about a few perks of buying from their dealership (free car washes, oil changes and tire rotations for 2 years). He also made personal connections with us (kids go to same school). The difference is, they gave us what we wanted first (show us the product) and then we were open to connecting personally. You can definitely sell to the toughest buyer on the planet. And when you do, it’s likely to be a good size sale and they will be very loyal to you. Sell to them the way they want to be sold – sometimes that’s information first, sometimes that’s a very clear value proposition, sometimes that’s letting them lead the sales process…and sometimes, its all 3! Be friendly – but genuine. Be helpful and flex with their comments to show them options they haven’t considered. At the end of the day, people buy PEOPLE. Happy Selling! Mona Hilton is the CEO of Occupancy Advantage.
The American College of Health Care Administrators - ACHCA - will hold their summer leadership conference from July 28 to August 1, 2014 at The Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda. The conference is entitled, "Blind-Side: How a Small Behavior Change Can Make a Huge Difference." Stephen Taylor of Stephen Taylor & Associates, a coaching and consulting service since 1982, will facilitate. This conference is intended for long-term care leaders, administrators, CEOs, facility owners, ACHCA members and non-members. Earn 15 CEs. Workshops will run on all four days of the conference ACHCA Summer Leadership Conference
Senior centers usually rank near the top of most-widely used services among America's aging adults. According to recent statistics, approximately 11,000 senior citizens cater to over one million senior citizens who frequent those senior centers every year. Get Connected and Engaged For those of you who may not know, a senior center is a place that older adults congregate for social, emotional or physical reasons. Many senior centers around the country cater to older adults' need to feel connected to each other. Senior centers normally host an array of free activities. These include complimentary dance classes and group walking tours of the city as well as discussions of wide-ranging topics from politics to local sports. Hub for Aging Services According to the recent US Census, there are over 40 million American senior citizens, which is more people aged 65 or older than in any other time in US history. Over the last decade, in fact, the sheer number of baby boomers skyrocketed by nearly a fifth. This trend is slated to continue as baby boomers continue to collect social security as senior citizens. Aging baby boomers are also expected to flock in greater numbers to senior centers, which are considered the epicenter for a community's senior services. Informational Seminars and Communal Meals Informational seminars and communal meals are daily events that senior centers host to attract and inform seniors of all of the aging services that their community offers. Seniors can find out the top recreational activities from staff and other experts at these informational seminars and communal meals. At the very least, these get-togethers are a great change of pace and opportunity to connect with one's peers. Be Part of the National Aging Network The Older Americans Act, passed by President Johnson in 1965, helps to create and sustain what is known as the national aging network in the United States. This helps to fund initiatives like senior centers across the country. Although most senior centers are funded by the communities in which they operate, some senior centers receive state money or funds from the federal government. Social Benefits On a more practical note, going through the national aging network and getting involved in your community's local senior center can have lasting social benefits. That is, some older adults transition from barely caring about socializing to feeling lonely as, maybe, a spouse passes or family comes around less often. Other times physical disabilities prevent getting proper exercise without some assistance. Fortunately, senior centers can help many seniors to connect with their peers. Moreover, senior centers often offer bingo and potluck dinners to keep seniors' minds occupied and their spirits high. These kinds of recreational activities have the added benefit of keeping seniors feeling in control of their lives and autonomous. Increased Independence Seniors are meant to feel more independent when they have a schedule chock full of activities and friends to do those activities with. Older adults who regularly attend events at senior centers report a greater sense of autonomy, enjoyment and gratitude. Because some older adults, especially those with disabilities, can feel like a burden on their families, senior centers offer a viable alternative for seniors looking to spend their remaining years having a good time with their peers. Fortunately, most senior centers provide complimentary transportation to and from the senior center to ensure that the good times last! Medical Check-ups Many senior centers feature health screenings and flu shots to older adults. These health screenings are a great way to spot diseases early and ensure longevity.
Are you sick and tired of giving away more than 3/4 of your prospects to your competition because of follow up failure? Keep reading…because you’re about to go from FOLLOW UP Failure to Follow up FABULOUS! In the housing industry (senior or residential), a lead costs an average of $500 on average. And after going through all the trouble of generating these expensive, valuable, precious leads, it would be a shame to not get your money’s worth from those inquiries…but that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s shocking, but 80% of all inquiries or leads never receive ANY type of follow up! If that’s not enough, in a survey, 65% of managers cited “Follow up” as their #1 Business Failure! No surprise, but the largest and fastest growing source of new leads is the Internet. 87% of our inquiries will research you online first – on your website, search engines and all the various social media and review sites like Angie’s list and Google Plus. Of the people who go to your website, 45% of them will purchase from you or a competition within 12 months….and 75% of those people will buy from the first person they speak to. In fact, when a web leads contact you, if you contact them back within 5 minutes of them reaching out to you, you are 100TIMES more likely to reach them, engage them and sell to them than if you wait just 30 minutes! I’ve always said the most damaging statistic is the one you don’t know. And the truth is, I’ll bet no one reading this knows for certainty how many prospects they are GIVING away. But we can only take a guess at the cost of NOT following up by estimating lost revenue. Maybe you’re thinking, Mona, I hear you, but I know our people ARE doing follow up. My answer to you would be AWESOME…that’s great. Let’s look at what follow up is being done. Ask people why they don’t do follow up or stop doing follow up, and you’ll hear some very legitimate reasons: Afraid to appear too pushy Forgetting to follow up No time Don’t know what to say Don’t have system Don’t know what to do with some of the prospects you get I recently googled “sales follow up” and got 969,000 hits. Everyone recognizes that follow up is a problem and is necessary for success, but no one tells you HOW to do it. So I will take a stab at it. CLICK HERE to read Mona’s 6 specific FOLLOW UP tips. And don’t forget your past/current clients and referral sources! If you provide a service that people need repeatedly – like home health or services – don’t neglect to follow up with your past clients. They represent future business. The tips I gave you in the link are practical and make common sense. But honestly, we know that they are easier to talk about than they are to do. So is there a secret to great, effective, consistent, bullet-proof follow up? And if so, what is it? The secret is to plan out your follow up paths and goals and messages in advance and then automate them. You can do that on paper or spreadsheets or you can use the set it and forget it follow up TaskoMatics built into Advantage. Each TaskoMatic is strategic and intentionally designed for a different type of lead and has a specific goal. Maybe it’s for a web lead and the goal is to get them on the phone for discovery. A TaskoMatic allows you to prebuild follow up sequences of activities, calls, emails, notes, and other actions that move your prospects towards the goal. These actions can be strategically assigned to different people to do different things and use intentionally relevant messages. I love it when technology serves as your assistant, don’t you?! By automating your systems, you can focus on the high value activities (relationships that generate revenue) and let your technology “take care” of your automated tasks. So although FOLLOW UP is our number 1 failure, I’ve got good news for you! Follow up failure may be expensive, is definitely unnecessary but the good news is, it’s fixable! You can go from Follow Up Failure to Follow Up FABULOUS. And your follow up will have FABULOUS results on your revenue! Here’s to FABULOUS Follow Up! Mona Hilton is the CEO of Occupancy Advantage Watch the video with Mona Hilton and RetirementHomes.com, How to Forever Fix the #1 Failure in Your Sales Teams: FOLLOW UP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODisqnC7Ufc
As the number of seniors in the United States passes the 40 million mark, or a full 14 percent of the total US population, many older Americans are wondering how they can stay fit and healthy through their golden years. Low-Impact and Relaxing Increasing numbers of seniors actually view gardening as a great way to burn off calories and get their daily dose of sunshine. Gardening is a low-impact activity that often is a more palatable alternative to costly gym memberships or trudging along a treadmill. Listening to the birds chirp as you dig into the soil can also be very relaxing. Moving from one position to another while gardening can also help improve bone density and enhance flexibility for seniors. Seniors should focus on a range of low-impact maneuvers while gardening; these might include: -Stretching beforehand -Lifting shovels or light bags of soil -Occasionally kneeling -Digging up weeds and walking Great Calorie Burn Research shows that just going through these rudimentary gardening tasks - from walking down the lawn with your mower to actually tilling and hoeing the soil - can burn between 200 and 400 calories! Best of all, this can all be done on your schedule and with occasional breaks. Although the benefits of gardening can include a low-impact workout that burns more calories than even an hour's quick walk around the neighborhood, seniors are well-advised to take frequent breaks if they feel fatigued or if the outdoor temperature is in excess of 80 degrees. Reap What You Sow It's been said that seniors who spend more time gardening are more apt to eat their own nutritious produce. That is, if you work on planting and growing tomatoes and carrots, you may well eat more of those yummy fruits and vegetables. Who would have thought!? Horticultural Therapy for Seniors There's even a growing movement today in nursing homes and some drug rehabilitation centers that focuses on what's called horticultural therapy. Horticultural therapy is usually conducted in conjunction with a trained therapist and a set of health and wellness goals in mind. The American Horticultural Therapy Organization says that horticultural therapy can have therapeutic benefits like increased happiness, lowered stress levels and higher wellness scores. From actually planting the seeds to reaping the harvest, a doctor or psychologist trained in the tenets of horticultural therapy works with the senior to improve the senior's quality of life and tangible health outcomes, such as lowered blood pressure. The Great Outdoors At this juncture, the exact reasons behind horticultural therapy and increased wellness for seniors taking up gardening are not completely understood. Some speculate that increased time in the sun and higher amounts of Vitamin D are associated with lower rates of depression in seniors and higher wellness ratings. Other speculate that simply getting in more hours outdoors communing with nature and digging into the soil rejuvenates the soul. Or as the poet Henry David Thoreau put it: "I believe there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright."
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