Home Instead Senior Care, Birmingham

Be a Santa to a Senior Gift Giveaway Serves Area Older Adults a Dose of Holiday Cheer

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The popular campaign that has delivered more than one million gifts to needy seniors throughout North America in the past five years is under way in Birmingham this holiday season.
The area office of Home Instead Senior Care has developed the Be a Santa to a Senior program to provide presents and special visits to local seniors who otherwise might be overlooked this holiday season.
“Most people aren’t aware that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors in every community who have no family and are alone,” said Dan Pahos, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Birmingham and surrounding areas.   “The holiday is often considered a time for children, but seniors – especially those who are isolated and lonely – need to be remembered as well.  Be a Santa to a Senior is designed to give back to those needy seniors as well as to help stimulate human contact and social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays.”

Here’s how the program, which runs until December 8, works:  The public is asked to purchase a holiday gift bag (with handles) and fill it with any of the items listed below.  Label the bag male or female and bring it to the Home Instead Senior Care office located at 2059 Columbiana Road, Suite 105 in Birmingham by December 8, 2010.
Be a Santa to a Senior is a way to show our gratitude to those older adults who have contributed so much to our community,” Pahos said.  “We hope to reach out to many with this gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill.”
Businesses are encouraged to contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office about adopting groups of seniors.  For more information about the program, call 205-822-1915.
Suggested Gift Ideas (Unopened and Unused)
  • Socks (Men & Women – all sizes)
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo / Conditioner
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush/Comb
  • Books (Large Print)
  • Crossword Puzzles (Large Print)
  • Blankets
  • Gloves (Men & Women – all sizes)
  • Washcloth, Bath and Hand Towel Sets
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Smoke Alarms (with batteries)
  • Devices to Aid Opening Jars/Bottles
  • Flashlight (with batteries)
  • Large Print Playing Cards
  • Stationary/Cards
  • Photo Albums
  • Picture Calendars
  • Nail File kits
  • Cotton Handkerchiefs
  • Large Button Telephones
  • Alarm Clocks with Large Numbers
  • Sugar-free Gum
  • Sugar-free Candy
  • Small Christmas Tree with ornaments
  • Magazines

To us it's personal

Brave Old World - A Report

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The demographic projections are startling: In 40 years, the number of Americans 
past 65 will have doubled.
There’s never been such a graying America.
What’s it like to grow old? How will communities and the nation adapt? A report on how older Americans age, how they grapple with the physical and emotional changes that accompany longer lives, and what lies ahead for us all.

To us it's personal

When Sleep Apnea Masquerades as Dementia - A New York Times article

Thursday, October 14, 2010

link to article
October 6, 2010, 3:44 pm

The woman who came to see Dr. Ronald Petersen, an Alzheimer’s specialist at the Mayo Clinic, was only in her 60s but complained that she was having trouble concentrating. “Her attention was waning,” Dr. Petersen recalled. “She couldn’t follow a television program or stay focused during a conversation.”
A C.P.A.P. machine at the home of a sleep apnea patient in Pottstown, Pa.Ryan Collerd for The New York Times A C.P.A.P. machine at the home of a sleep apnea patient in Pottstown, Pa.
She was probably developing dementia, Dr. Petersen thought as he took her history. But along the way he asked, as he usually does, how she was sleeping. The woman, who lived alone, hadn’t noticed any problems.
Her son, however, had stayed with her the previous night to drive her to the appointment. “She was snoring like a freight train,” he reported.
Aha. Overnight sleep testing determined that the woman had obstructive sleep apnea — nightlong interruptions in breathing that reduce oxygen flow to the brain and prevent deep sleep. The interruptions can happen 10 or more times an hour and are quite common in older adults, exacerbating — or sometimes mimicking — dementia symptoms.
Treated with a C.P.A.P. machine — the acronym stands for continuous positive airway pressure, a therapy that involves wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth during sleep — the woman rapidly improved. Her scores on neuropsychological tests eventually climbed back into the normal range. A year later, Dr. Petersen said, “I can’t find any abnormalities.”
Most of the time, cognitive problems won’t evaporate when seniors are treated for sleep apnea. But researchers find that with C.P.A.P., many older patients see marked improvement. “They’re not dozing off during the day, they’re not dragging,” said Dr. Bradley Boeve, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic. “Quality of life improves.”
Life gets easier for their caregivers, too, a key concern in trying to keep people out of nursing homes.
But apnea frequently goes undetected, especially in the elderly, although they are more likely to have it. Estimates of the percentage of older adults with sleep apnea are all over the map, in part because of varying definitions of the condition — but they’re always startlingly high. Sonia Ancoli-Israel, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, has studied the disorder for 30 years and reports that almost half of older adults experience apnea to some degree, with even higher rates among those with dementia.
“It’s under-recognized in all age groups,” she told me in an interview. “But in older people, physicians are even less likely to recognize it.”
Why? Apnea in younger people frequently coincides with obesity; in elderly patients, that’s less often true. Loud snoring, often a tip-off, may go unnoticed when seniors live alone. And, as Dr. Ancoli-Israel pointed out, “there’s a belief that old people are supposed to be sleepy during the day.”
They’re not, and one reason she wants them and their caregivers to recognize the problem is the now-established connection between apnea and cognitive decline. “If you’re waking up hundreds of times a night and you’re not getting enough oxygen to the brain, of course you’ll see the effect,” Dr. Ancoli-Israel said.
She and her team, in a study published in 2008 in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, randomly assigned patients with Alzheimer’s disease to use real C.P.A.P. machines or fake ones for several weeks. The treatment produced “modest but statistically significant improvements,” particularly in vigilance (the ability to pay attention) and executive function (judgment and decision-making).
“We didn’t cure the dementia,” Dr. Ancoli-Israel cautioned. “But it wasn’t as severe as before.” As the researchers followed up months later, they also found that while all the patients continued to decline cognitively, in those using C.P.A.P. the decline was more gradual.
For years, physicians doubted that dementia patients could or would use these machines. Even younger people with apnea frequently find the C.P.A.P. mask uncomfortable, pulling it off during sleep or just not bothering to use it. But in recent studies, seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease did use the devices — not for as many hours each night as their doctors might wish, but long enough.
Now Dr. Ancoli-Israel is investigating whether C.P.A.P. therapy might help reduce the cognitive damage from Parkinson’s disease. “This isn’t just Alzheimer’s,” she said. “Any time there are symptoms of dementia, you should think about sleep apnea and discuss it with your doctor.”
Be forewarned: diagnosing sleep apnea can be complicated, requiring an overnight stay in a sleep center. If apnea proves to be the problem, technicians have to calibrate each C.P.A.P. machine’s settings and individually fit the mask. All those processes become harder with someone who’s cognitively impaired. (To find treatment centers, consult the American Academy of Sleep Medicine or the National Sleep Foundation.)
But when someone with apnea does stick with the treatment, “you’ll see the effects within a month or so,” Dr. Boeve said. “Sometimes even within a week.”

Paula Span is the author of “When the Time Comes: Families With Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions.”

To us it's personal

An Open Letter from Paul Hogan, Founder of Home Instead Senior Care

Monday, October 11, 2010


When my wife Lori and I wrote Stages of Senior Care, we viewed it as a public service to educate people about the senior care continuum. We are gratified to know those who read the book believe we accomplished that goal.

The Home Instead Senior Care white paper "Caring for the Aging: The Old System is Obsolete, Time to Create a New Model" also stresses the senior care continuum. This letter is the final installment of my reflections on that paper. Its conclusions are personal to me because twenty years ago, my family and I questioned whether the two traditional care options--(1) finding ways to help aging parents live at home, and then, (2) proceeding to nursing home care--offered enough choices for all seniors. Greater society began to push back against this old system as well.

Today, a new model recognizes that many public and private options contribute to healthy aging. A U.S. couple's plan for aging may include many stops along a care path including:

• Aging in place
• Family care
• Senior centers and adult daycare centers
• Nonmedical care at home
• Medical care at home
• Retirement and independent living communities
• Assisted living
• Skilled nursing homes
• Hospice care

Some Americans will reach their senior years not knowing their future care options.

In just a few months, the first baby boomers begin celebrating their 65th birthdays. As the age wave starts, Washington should acknowledge the most significant demographic trend in U.S. history by initiating a senior care public education campaign. Doing so may inspire the nation's 78 million citizens born between 1946 and 1964 to ask themselves how well their retirement funds and other benefits will cover their senior care needs. With a plan, most could increase the quality of their senior years and decrease expenses for themselves personally and the health care system nationally. But, a recent Home Instead, Inc., survey revealed that more than one-third of decision-makers said they did not discuss senior care until a crisis forced the conversation.

It's time for Washington to talk seriously about the senior care continuum. Unfortunately, just like some families, our government may wait until circumstances become critical. You can do your part by tracking senior care legislation, addressing public policy issues that have profound implications for seniors and advocating for a new caring for the aging model.

Please join Lori and me in changing the way America views and understands the face of aging.

Paul R. Hogan

Paul Hogan is Chairman & Founder of Home Instead Senior Care and, with his wife Lori, co-author of Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions.

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Lovely, Still

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monterey media is very pleased to announce the theatrical premiere and release of “Lovely, Still”, an “Uncommonly lovely”, “Brilliant”, “Masterfully told” and “Remarkable” film starring Academy Award winners Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn. In this mysterious and tender love story, what begins as an awkward encounter quickly blossoms into a new chance for romance and the elderly couple’s love affair takes us on a heartfelt and wonderful journey that reveals a most unexpected twist.

“Beautiful film. The chemistry between the two of them is so beautiful and the astonishing poignancy of the final scene is applause-worthy in and of itself. One of the great pleasures of Lovely, Still is the mere sight of Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn on screen together.” – eFilmCritic

Skillfully and sensitively directed by Nik Fackler, the film also stars Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri, W., Spider-Man) and Adam Scott (Leap Year, Step Brothers), and features original music by singer-songwriter and guitarist Conor Oberst, whom NPR praised as “one of the best lyricists making music in the 21st century” and a score by Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis, all 3 of whom comprise the permanent members of American band and indie favorite Bright Eyes

“A movie as expertly made as this, and as tender and subtly beautiful as this,deserves to be seen.” -Cinematical

“A miracle of a movie. Beautiful, full of love and life” - John Foote, incontention.com

The film, an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, will premiere theatrically at the Village East Cinemas in New York City on September 10th before premiering in Los Angeles at Mann Chinese 6, Laemmle’s Music Hall and Town Center on September 17th and expanding nationwide.

Building beyond conventional outreach for Lovely, Still, which was specially selected for a premiere screening at the annual AARP National Convention and the event’s Movies For Grownups Film Festival, monterey media has joined with The Creative Coalition (http://www.thecreativecoalition.org/) and Home Instead Senior Care (http://www.homeinstead.com/) to promote the film. The Creative Coalition is the premiere 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community dedicated to educating and mobilizing its members on issues of public importance, primarily public education, the First Amendment, and arts advocacy. The Home Instead Senior Care network is the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care services, allowing seniors to feel safe and independent while they age in their own home, with more than 875 independently owned and operated franchises in 14 countries and 15 markets, spanning four continents.

For more information, please visit: http://www.montereymedia.com/.

To us it's personal