Why Your Relatives Avoid Caregiving

Are you taking care of your older adult all by yourself?

You are not alone. The majority of family caregivers don’t receive any help from their relatives.

Taking care of your loved one entirely by yourself can harm your health. Caregiving often causes stress, which leads to various diseases and conditions. Getting another pair of hands to help is often needed but extremely difficult. It seems that everyone avoids giving you a hand, and no one asks whether you can manage everything all by yourself.

We will try to find the reasons behind it and answer why relatives avoid caregiving.

They Are Scared

People can be afraid of doing something wrong, as you probably know. You were probably in the same position at the beginning, and it took some time to find your feet. When you do something for the first time, such fear is normal. If that is the case with your family members, assure them you will help them in the beginning.

Introduce them gradually to your responsibilities regarding taking care of the older adult. Go step by step and supervise them at the beginning. This way, they will be more confident and more willing to help you.

Perhaps you can’t determine if fear is the reason why your relatives avoid caregiving. In this case, ask them to tell you openly why they leave caregiving on your shoulders. Explain to them gently that you can’t manage everything by yourself.

They Believe You Can Do Everything by Yourself

It sounds a little selfish, but it is true. Relatives may believe you don’t need a hand because they’ve never been asked, and it seems you accomplish everything without any problems. Don’t judge them, they don’t know how much energy caregiving requires. If they are not spending every day with you, they are unaware of all the effort.

Let them know that although everything appears to under control, it isn’t. Tell your relatives about what you are going through. However, be careful of your tone. You don’t want to judge them for not helping you. Instead of releasing all your stress on them, make them understand how you feel in a calm tone. Think about what their strengths are and what they can help you with. Ask them to assist you first with a particular task, and if they agree, give them more tasks over time.

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People Don’t Know How to Help

Some people simply don’t know how to help. They are usually ignorant of all the tasks and problems. Even if people know what the problems are, some of them don’t know how to solve them.

When this is the case, it is better to be as specific as possible. Need a hand? Tell your family member to come at a specific time and place. Provide a brief explanation of what you need them for and ask if they have any questions. Giving detailed explanations multiple times can be annoying, but have in mind how much you could use an additional pair of hands.

These would be the top reasons why relatives avoid caregiving.

If you are stressed and starting to feel the symptoms of caregiver burnout, don’t hesitate to ask for help. React before you burn out. You won’t do any good to you, or the people around you, if you are anxious every day.

Let your family members know how much you would appreciate their help and how much that would mean to you. Explain the whole situation and how much you struggle to accomplish your daily tasks.

There will surely be someone to give you a hand.

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Is There a Connection Between Alzheimer’s & Peanut Butter?

Can you even think about a world where you could know more about your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by consuming peanut butter? It may sound unbelievable, but a group of researchers from the University of Florida believe that there is a connection between this disease and peanut butter. In particular, they are speaking about the smell of this delicious paste. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease is not cognitive decline but the sense of smell. Before Alzheimer’s patients encounter memory loss, they will endure the loss of this smell. Thanks to this correlation, the peanut butter test for Alzheimer’s disease was created.

Can Smelling Peanut Butter Detect Alzheimer’s?

The peanut butter–Alzheimer’s relationship was discovered through an experiment. Ninety people were gathered, some in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia, while other participants had no cognitive or neurological problems. All of them participated in what was later called a ‘’smell test.’’ All they had to do was smell a teaspoon of peanut butter from a short distance.

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The results showed that those people who had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease had trouble smelling the peanut butter. What’s even more surprising is that it was even more difficult for them to detect it through their left nostril compared to the right one. The difference in the strength of smell between nostrils is unique for Alzheimer’s disease.

Is This Test Accepted by Experts?

For now, no, it is not widely accepted. It is not something you can use to determine the risk of this disease by yourself. There are even some scientists that entirely negate the findings of the experiment mentioned above. According to them, the study had too few participants. Like we said, less than 100 people participated. The sample size is considered too small to be widely accepted in scientific circles.

What’s even more against this test is that the same researchers from the University of Florida stated that various other traumas, not related to Alzheimer’s, could affect our sense of smell. The best example of this is that someone who had a severe sinus infection at any given moment during their lives could have their olfactory abilities reduced. Because of this, the test we talked about above can’t be precise enough. So in a manner of speaking, sense of smell and Alzheimer’s are connected, but one doesn’t always relate to the other.

What Are the Signs of Alzheimer’s We Know for Certain?

While scientists work on making better use of peanut butter in detecting Alzheimer’s in the early stages, there are symptoms that point to this disease more accurately. The best known are memory loss, especially regarding things we recently learned, and the loss of the ability to make a clear judgment. Some of the other signs that can show us Alzheimer’s disease include the inability to find objects that we use every day, issues with determining places and time, difficulty completing familiar tasks, reduction in our vocabulary, and problems with remembering words.

The signs that will be easiest to notice by family and friends include a change in personality and withdrawal from social activities. It is essential for your loved one not to rush to a conclusion that one has Alzheimer’s or dementia. There are symptoms that are tied to aging. So if your senior forgets a word or has issues with the recollection of one particular event, it might be that they just forgot—and not a sign of cognitive decline. The issue with family members is that they always think the worst. Sometimes it’s just plain life.

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Tips for Being a Good Caregiver

Numerous challenges come with taking care of someone. But regardless of those, there are millions of parents, children, siblings, partners, and friends who dedicate their lives to taking care of someone else. And in the process, they put their own lives on hold. Every day, they put someone’s well-being ahead of themselves while trying to be a good caregiver.

With the job of caregiving, you will get a ton of hours in the waiting rooms of hospitals and hours of conversations with doctors. Being a good caregiver requires your full commitment every day, every week, every month—for years. It is about patience, about thinking twice with every minor issue, and about being able to remain silent when you have the desire to scream from helplessness. And trust us, you will feel helpless more than once, as your loved one goes through tough moments where you won’t be able to help them.

You will know that the job isn’t easy from the first day. All of the extra time away from work will affect your finances. Dealing with medical insurance and the rest of the paperwork that comes with taking full-time care of someone will even affect your health. In all of this, you will find it hard to be the best person you can be and also be a better caregiver.

A Good Caregiver 1

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Our Tips

That is why we have prepared a few tips for you, which will help you to be a good caregiver despite all of the adversities.

  1. Listen. Always try to listen to your patient. And don’t just listen, be a good listener.
  2. Talk to your patient. Talk sincerely and compassionately.
  3. Respect the patient’s autonomy.
  4. Understanding their need for privacy.
  5. Be a guiding light for your patient. Introduce them to the process of caregiving and your purpose in it.
  6. Represent your patient in situations where they are no longer able to advocate for themselves.
  7. Try to understand their medical condition as best you can.

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Long-Distance Caregiving: What Should I Do First?

As the name says, long-distance caregiving means taking care of someone (usually a family member) when you don’t live in the same place. We have an article tackling several questions about long-distance caregiving. However, if you are new to this, you may find yourself thrown in the deep end. Therefore, here are some tips that can help you find your feet.

Ask, Ask, and Ask Some More

As a new long-distance caregiver, you must have dozens of questions, and if you want answers, you must ask. Talk to your loved one and ask what is the best way to help them. Try to find out what they prefer: do they need a permanent caregiver, how often should you call them, what should you buy, do you need to arrange a ride to the doctor’s, etc. Furthermore, if you have friends or acquaintances who are caregivers, arrange a meeting with them and talk about their experiences.

Learn on the Way

When you do long-distance caregiving, you must be familiar with a person’s health needs and what to do in certain situations. This doesn’t mean you need to get a PhD in medicine, but you should know the basics (for example, what medicine a person with a high fever should take). You can always Google it and, in addition, consult some local resources.

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Visit Your Loved Ones

Although long-distance caregiving means you don’t need to be present 24/7, visits are welcome. They not only help in beating loneliness, but you can see what else needs to be done. There are some things that you cannot do while living far away but only when you are on-site.

These are just basic tips for long-distance caregivers. In order to develop yourself more, don’t forget to ask, read, and above all learn.


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Companion Care Services Can Ease Loneliness for Seniors

One issue that many seniors encounter but the general public doesn’t pay enough attention to is loneliness. Most of us imagine an ill senior alone in a house when we think about loneliness. But in addition to the elderly who are unable to socialize because of their health, there are those who are perfectly healthy and still don’t have anyone to spend time with. It is of utmost importance to pay attention to them and aid them in connecting with others. If you want to help your loved one regarding the issues of loneliness, companion care might be the solution.

What Is Companion Care for Seniors?

One thing that most elderly adults encounter in their late years is the fact that their loved ones don’t have as much time for them as they used to. The reason is, of course, they have families and children of their own and the responsibilities that come with them. In some cases, a senior is living with a spouse, and when they die, older adults are often left all alone with no one close by to spend quality time with them.

Live-in-Overnight Home Care

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Enter companion care. A companion caregiver is a person that aids the elderly by coming to their house and spending time with them. In addition to providing the elderly with company, they can help them with simple activities such as scrapbooking, gardening, or even organizing their bookshelves. In some instances, they are equipped to provide medical help, and as such, they can aid older adults with medications.

Also, don’t think that companion care is only related to activities inside of the house. A companion caregiver can also spend time with the elderly outside, taking them to various events and meetings they want to attend. A companion caregiver is an ideal partner for shopping, lunch, or visiting a theater. All of the activities that an elderly adult enjoyed earlier with loved ones or even alone, the companion caregiver can do with them.

What About Companion Care for the Elderly in Assisted Living?

Companion care is not only limited to seniors who live alone in their homes. It can also be used by older adults who are living at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Depending on a senior’s health status, the caregiver can entertain them inside the facility, or if it’s allowed, they can also spend time outside doing what the senior enjoys.

Companion care is excellent for those older adults who live far away from their families. This type of care will provide the elderly with the attention they need and will also help them to make the best of their time while living away from their family and friends.

What Are the Advantages of Companion Care for Seniors?

According to a study conducted by the Perspectives on Psychological Science journal, almost one in five Americans suffer from a condition which is called persistent loneliness. Because of this state, mortality in an individual can be increased by 29 to 32%. As time goes by, loneliness is being considered a condition that could cause the next big health crisis in the United States.

The same study is claiming that seniors who are living in isolation but feel good about it have the same death risk as those who live alone and feel bad about it. Companion care can aid them in reducing isolation and prevent loneliness from creeping in.

Another study, this time done by Chicago’s Rush University, claims that by having an active lifestyle that keeps the brain busy, you can prevent dementia and memory loss. The same research showed that strokes and Alzheimer’s are causing one-third of all cognitive decline in the elderly, while 10% is determined by their brain activity during their entire life.

This is another reason why you should consider companion care for your loved ones.

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Why Aging in Place Benefits Seniors

Seniors should look together with their loved ones to age in one place. Aging in place has many advantages, thanks to the advance in technology, city planning, and development of home health care. Furthermore, aging in one place benefits both seniors and the communities in which they live.

The Benefits of Aging in Place

Of course, the first and most significant advantage of aging in place is without a doubt the fact that the elderly can live through their golden years in the same home where they spent most of their lives. You can never state enough just how vital familiar and comfortable surroundings can be for seniors. Aging in place is especially beneficial for seniors who are experiencing dementia or memory loss or have issues with recalling things.

By aging in place, seniors can enjoy their home as they did throughout their life. Moving to a smaller place isn’t the best solution for all older adults. If they are living in a bigger space, they can surround themselves with objects from their past life which will serve as mementos and will make them feel good. Most seniors have figuratively collected their lives inside their house surrounded by loved ones.

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There are people who believe that moving their loved ones into a nursing home is a cheaper option, but they are wrong. Living in the place where they already do is 20% less expensive than nursing homes, even when you count in the expenses that come with a hired caregiver. Also, seniors who live at home lead more fulfilled lives. They remain members of the community and participate in events and activities with the close friends with whom they have spent most of their lives. Older adults who need to move into nursing homes lose these advantages, and they are forced to cut ties with their old lifestyle. In cases where the elderly are forced into a care facility, they might even face issues that come with lost independence.

Unfortunately, there are obstacles that come with aging in place, and we are going to address them below.

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Dealing With Medical Issues When Aging in Place

With age, medical issues arise. Many elderly adults need day-to-day care just to be able to do simple activities. Older adults face many challenges, and home healthcare has changed drastically to stay in touch with its patients.

Not all elderly adults need everyday medical care, but most of them require a hand with chores and similar activities. Seniors who need this type of care can find it through homecare agencies. Today they specialize in helping older adults with daily operations of all kinds. In some cases, if a senior only needs a little help, they can receive it from family, friends, and even neighbors.

Non-medical homecare consists of providing help to the elderly with laundry and simple housekeeping chores such as meal making. For seniors that don’t need a particular type of assistance but only want company for the day, companion care is a perfect solution.

Furthermore, there are various types of non-medical care for your elderly loved ones. Just some of the examples are overnight care and live-in services. The first one is care that requires a caregiver to be present in the hours before bedtime, they then spend the night in the house with the senior and assist them with activities in the morning. Thanks to this type of care, the elderly will feel safe and secure during the night. The latter one requires a caregiver to spend a few days a week with a senior full-time and mainly live with them.

Regardless of the help you pick for your loved one, or even if you choose none, the advantages of them aging in place will be immense and benefit them by itself.

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Natural and Medical Ways to Boost Seniors’ Immune Systems

The fact that our immune system starts working slower and enters decline as we get older is well known. However, this information is not considered anything that we should put our attention on. The immune system is what protects our body, and that is why we need to take care of it. It is our first wall of defense against bacteria and viruses. It is also essential in preventing illnesses from developing into more severe conditions, such as pneumonia or even cancer.

Of course, there are ways to keep our immune system in top form even as we get older. Most people rely on medical interventions such as vaccinations, but there are also well known natural ways to boost our immune system. Here we are going to talk about some of them.

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Immunizations and Older Adults

We are going to start with vaccinations that are recommended by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). They are sorted by the way they should be taken, and here’s the schedule:

  • Influenza – The best time of year to get your yearly shot of flu vaccine is in the early autumn. That would be right about now. Late September or early October is when you should aim to be vaccinated. This way you will protect yourself from the outbreaks of cold and flu.
  • Pneumonia – This vaccine is one of the once-in-a-lifetime ones, which means one dose will be enough. The only reason you should receive it twice is if the first one was before you turned 55 years old.
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  • Shingles – The only way to know just how painful shingles can be is to have them yourself or see someone close to you experience them. Older adults are at a higher risk of having them, especially if they suffer from another chronic condition. Once you receive this vaccine, you’re good to go without another one for five years.
  • Tdap – This vaccine should protect you from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It is highly recommended that you get one if you spend a lot of time in the company of infants and small children. This vaccine should be received every ten years.

Natural Immune Boosters for Older Adults

There are many ways for older adults to boost their immune system. It varies from exercising to probiotics. Below you have a couple that are recommended by doctors:

  • Probiotics for the elderly – If you don’t know what probiotics are, you’re in the right place. They are natural supplements that contain bacteria which is healthy for our body. They can help seniors with inflammation and other similar conditions.
  • Exercising – Working out is healthy regardless of your age. With regular exercise, you will help keep your immune system in balance. All you need is 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week. It can help you deal with infections and illnesses.
  • Vitamins for older adults – The best way to get enough vitamins in your body is to maintain a healthy diet. The best way to do this is to consume all the vegetables and fruits you can get your hands on. The rainbow consumption of fruits and vegetables is what is recommended by doctors. By rainbow, they mean that you should pick fruits and veggies in various colors. Mushrooms are also a natural booster of the immune system, although they are technically neither fruit nor vegetable.

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Respect for the Aged Day – Every Day

This was the 52nd year since the people of Japan started to celebrate Respect for the Aged Day. Half a century ago, the Japanese started to pay respect to their aged loved ones every year on the third Monday in September. On this day they give recognition to their senior citizens for their contribution to culture and society in general and also to their longevity. By just looking at this custom from the Land of the Rising Sun, it is easy to understand why Japan is considered a country that is a leader in senior care. Because of this, there is so much that we Americans can learn from them and their behavior towards the elderly.

Celebrating Respect for the Aged Day

This day is a true festival in Japan. It is celebrated with music, gift giving, dancing, but most of all with the time people dedicate to their elderly loved ones. Most seniors agree that the best part of being old is that you have more time to spend with your family. Holidays such as this one give more chances to spend quality time surrounded with loved ones. Unfortunately, this day is not celebrated in the United States. Many people are not even aware of its existence. What’s even worse, people don’t know when Grandparents Day is, which actually is celebrated in the US. The reason is simple. American culture is not as appreciative of its seniors as the Japanese are.

Respect For The Aged Day Every Day

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Attitudes About Age

One of the primary reasons why Japan is so kind towards its elderly citizens is because the country is influenced by eastern ideologies such as Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. All of these ideologies are adamant about the fact that older people need to be treated with respect. Not only for their age and personality but for the life experience that they collected over the years, which is something held in high regard in that country.

The deep connection between young and old in Japan is seen in the fact that they have the most aged population in the world. The median age in Japan stands at 41, while the life expectancy is at 83. With this, they already have roots of respect for elderly planted deep inside them. In the last few years, the number of seniors that live alone in Japan is on the rise, but even with a trend like this, they are nowhere near the number in the United States.

Combating Adult Failure to Thrive

Living alone has its advantages. But seniors who live in communities can give their contributions to the economic, social, and emotional well-being of their loved ones. Some people who live alone struggle to complete simple tasks and are often left isolated, which leads to feelings of incompetence and can often lead to severe medical conditions such as depression. Another state that can arise in these seniors is AFTT (adult failure to thrive).

This condition occurs when seniors start to decline medically without a clear physical explanation. Some of the symptoms that accompany AFTT are weight loss, dehydration, inactivity, and decreased appetite. For seniors that suffer from this condition, one of the solutions might be companion care. If your loved one is living in a country that is not supportive towards its elderly in the way Japan is, companion care can be the difference between life and death.

What the Future Holds for the Elderly in the US

Not all older adults live in an age-supportive culture such as Japan. But in the future, America will need to turn to their elderly and recognize them as an equal part of society and one that can still contribute. The two countries have similarities, as America is fast becoming an aging society.

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Exploring the Connection Between Dementia and Depression in the Elderly

If you have ever talked with a caregiver who takes care of a patient that lives with Alzheimer’s disease, you have probably heard that people who have this terrible disease often succumb to depression. What’s even worse, depression is quite common among people with any type of dementia. According to the latest research, the connection between dementia and depression is actually profound.

At the moment, researchers are working on an idea which is based on the connection between depression and dementia. People who start suffering from dementia are at a higher risk of developing depression later in life. Their study confirmed that people who had depression for extended periods of time were at a 22% increased risk of developing dementia. The first three years of experiencing symptoms of dementia are more likely to show symptoms of depression, too.

Unfortunately, at the moment scientists aren’t sure if depression is one of the causes of dementia or if it is a side effect. Because of this, it is more important than ever to think about dementia in the elderly as the most dangerous of states. Both family and professional caregivers need to be aware of the symptoms that follow the appearance of depression so that they can find the right treatment for their loved ones or patients.

Depression and Dementia

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What Is Senior Depression Really All About?

First thing first. We need to understand depression in older adults better. Many people think that depression is some mild mood swing which can quickly go away. They couldn’t be more wrong. Others believe that people who are depressed can overcome their state with ease. None of that is true. Depression is a severe mental condition which needs to be approached carefully and addressed appropriately.

Yes, depression is a mood disorder, but a serious one. It affects various aspects of human life. It can deprive us of sleep or make us ineffective at our jobs. In order for a doctor to detect depression, symptoms must be noticeable for a period longer than two weeks.

The most recognizable symptoms of depression are:

  • Lack of interest in hobbies and pastimes earlier enjoyed
  • Quick to anger and easily irritated
  • Lack of energy followed by fatigue
  • Issues with sleep and lack of it
  • Appetite problems: overeating or not eating at all
  • Stomach issues
  • Constant feelings of worthlessness and sadness
  • Loss of focus

In more severe cases of depression, patients have suicidal thoughts and even suicidal attempts.

Treating Depression in the Elderly

There isn’t one ideal treatment that suits all patients. When a person that has depression reports to a doctor, a physician needs to try out a couple of treatments before he finds the right one. But luckily there are methods that are common in treating depression, and these are some of them:

  • Activity and exercising – Even the smallest walk around the neighborhood can lift your spirits, but in order to deal with depression, you will need a workout regimen. What you need is a five-day-a-week program with 35 to 60 minutes of exercising each of those days.
  • Medications – Treating depression with antidepressants is a conventional method. The good news is that they are not expensive, but unfortunately they don’t have an immediate effect in most cases. For many patients, it will take one month of consumption for results to be seen. Of course, antidepressants need to be taken under a doctors surveillance because the dosage needs to be carefully determined.
  • Talk therapy – Also known as psychotherapy, it is also one of the methods of dealing with depression. Talking to a professional can lead to discovering the roots and causes of depression. By doing this, you will also be on a path of overcoming this condition.

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The Importance of Sexual Health for Seniors

Medicine has excelled to the level that most people live longer today. They lead healthier and more active lives. This is a positive trend, and it comes as good news for all the elderly. But it also raises different health concerns. One of the health concerns that older adults will face has something to do with their sexual health. Because of that, we are going to talk about sexual trends in senior communities. One of the subjects is going to be the importance of sexual education and its importance not only for older adults but for their health care providers, families, close friends and public health professionals. It is critical to have knowledge about this issue for both the elderly and the people who surround them.

Current Trends

During the 2013 meeting of the American Sexual Health Association it was concluded that the following matters are essential for aging adults regarding their sexual health:

  • Despite the older age, social and sexual relationships remain equally important, especially today, as both longevity and quality of life have improved.
  • Individuals who have a partner, regardless of age, tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives. But there are many older adults who avoid relationships due to the difficulties that come with them. Their main worry is regarding sexual function and performance.
The Importance Of Sexual Health For Seniors

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Some of these issues almost wholly disappeared thanks to the improvement of general health and the use of highly popular medications such as Viagra. Thanks to this, many elderly adults are now able to enjoy a quality sexual life regardless of their age. With old age, all of us are without a doubt going through various physical and emotional changes. Because of this, we are going to experience changes in our sexual desire and performance. Luckily, all of this can be handled with the proper support.

Being able to have a quality sexual life during the golden years is excellent for all seniors, but it also comes with a downside. Due to increased sexual activity, many older adults are exposed to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). In recent times, the number of affected seniors is getting larger. According to AARP’s study that was published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections in 2008, the number of seniors with STDs increased by 50% in less than ten years. This is a reason for concern, as many sexually transmitted diseases are now more resistant to currently available antibiotics. Because of this, the issue of sexual health among seniors is more important than ever.

The Importance of Education

As a consequence of high sexual activity, seniors are at high risk of having an STD. But with things like that, this matter is not addressed as much as it should be. In most cases, due to shame, the elderly don’t talk about it directly. Of course, the issue is a lack of education, because the social stigma surrounding sexual activities in the elderly is still strong. The risk grows exponentially as more people are reluctant to talk about this subject.

Most seniors in their youth were more concerned with getting pregnant than with catching an STD. Because of that, they don’t know enough on the subject in their older days. That is why health care providers need to put effort into educating seniors about sexual activities and STDs and also performing testing and, if needed, getting them treatments. Some of the focal points in talking with the elderly should be:

  • Knowing the sexual history of their partner before having intercourse
  • Practicing monogamy or at least a limited number of partners
  • Getting STD tests—this goes equally for both partners
  • Using a condom and lubricant
  • Not having sex under the influence of alcohol and similar substances

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NewVision understands that navigating our healthcare system is complex for clients and families alike. That is why we also offer a comprehensive care management program that is strictly run by our advanced level nurses who are well-versed in the complexities of the healthcare system. Our approach is team-based and patient-centered, it is designed to make healthcare simple.  Services include but not limited:

  • Assess and develop individualized plan of care
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  • Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
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As clients transfer from acute and/or post acute care settings back into the communities, the process can be fragmented and as a result this can be detrimental to clients with complex care needs. Transitional care is there to prevent the care gap that exist between the “handoffs” from the hospital to the outpatient care teams. Our well trained and experienced advanced level nurses and nurse practitioners will connect the pieces from the acute and/or post acute care settings accurately. Our goal is to safely link clients back into the communities in a safe manner through coordination with inpatient, outpatient care teams along with family members. Our comprehensive plan of care is design to prevent unnecessary readmissions.

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Saturday | Sunday: Closed

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