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According to the CDC, millions of people over 65 have horrible falls that result in hospital visits every year. One out of four aging adults falls each year. These statistics are staggering. When an older adult falls, it is nowhere close to the same as someone younger falling because our bones become more brittle as we age. If an aging adult falls, they are more likely to break a bone or worse. Not to mention if someone older falls once, the likelihood of them falling again increases.

Falls can happen at any moment. Even simple movements like reaching into an overhead cabinet can trigger a fall. Luckily, there are simple exercises that help with balance and strength which ultimately help reduce falls by making you steadier on your feet. These exercises can be done in the comfort of your home. 

 We found these exercises on YouTube from a channel titled Bob and Brad. Bob and Brand, both former physical therapists, have many videos on YouTube where they work together, using their physical therapy training, to create videos of exercises specifically geared for aging adults. 

Exercise 1

Grab a tissue box and remote control for this exercise. Then stand between two high tables or countertops. Put the remote on one table and the tissue box on the other. Use one arm to pick up the larger object and move it across your body to the other table. Then pick it up again and move it back to its original location. Do the same with the remote control using the other arm. As for how many repetitions the aging adult should do, Bob and Brad recommend doing it until tired. However, if you find the exercise easy, you can increase the distance from the countertop or table or increase repetitions.  

Exercise 2

You can use the same tissue box and remote control for this exercise. This time place the objects on the countertop/table. Your loved one should be standing far enough away, so they must lean forward and reach for the items. Have them lean forward to pick up the larger item with one arm and bring it to them while standing up straight again. Next, lean forward and put it back on the table/countertop. If that is too easy, move to the smaller object and have them put it down further away from where they are standing. 

Preventing Falls While Exercising

The last thing you want is for your loved one to fall while exercising. Make sure to be nearby while they exercise so you can provide instant stability if they get off balance. It is also a good idea to have them wear a gait belt for extra safety. 

When it comes to ensuring your loved one remains safe and comfortable at home, contact us at Next Day Access. We offer many accessibility devices to keep your loved one safe and independent at home. 

Aging adults need to be cognizant of heat stroke since their bodies do not adjust to high temperatures like they once did. This causes them to be more susceptible to dehydration. It is especially critical for adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease because they may not realize that they are overheating and need to cool down. Sadly, 36% of heat-related deaths reported in the United States were of people over 65. To keep aging adults comfortable and safe, here are some ways to help them stay cool. 

  1. Make sure they drink plenty of cold water throughout the day. It is also a good idea for them to avoid caffeine or alcohol. 
  2. Cook them light cold meals, such as chicken or pasta salad, instead of heavy, greasy meals. 
  3. For a snack, give them popsicles low in sugar; you could even make the popsicles yourself or use frozen fruits like berries or grapes. 
  4. If their house does not cool down enough, take them to a place you know the air conditioning will be cool, such as a mall, senior center, or library. 
  5. Keep a cool washcloth on the back of their neck and a bowl of ice-cold water nearby to replenish the towel’s coolness. You could also have them keep their feet in a basin of cool water. 
  6. If the washcloth method is not working, put them in a cool shower or bath. For optimal cooling, the recommended water temperature should be right below the body temperature.
  7. If there is not already an air conditioning unit in the adult’s primary sitting area, check into investing in one. You can also find places that will rent them if that is a better financial decision. This will have a tremendous impact on cooling them down. 
  8. If you cannot afford an air conditioning unit, check into neighboring senior centers to see if any have been donated. During sweltering months, cities will often have donation drives specifically so aging adults can receive a unit. 
  9. Keep the shades drawn during the hottest parts of the day. Also, look into inexpensive curtains called mylar solar curtains. These curtains keep UV rays from penetrating through the glass as harshly. 
  10. Dress them in lightweight, breathable fabrics. 

At Next Day Access, we specialize in keeping aging adults and people with disabilities comfortable and safe in their homes. We offer products specifically designed to make life easier for them. We encourage you to contact a Next Day Access near you to see the many ways we can help. 

This year, Father’s Day is June 19th which is fast approaching. Sometimes figuring out what to get Dad can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you want to get him something special or sentimental. We have a fantastic suggestion for you, Storyworth! 

What is Storyworth?

Storyworth is an opportunity to share your father’s memories and special moments in a beautiful keepsake book. Your father can then share the book and the experiences and advice within the text with loved ones. The hope is that your father’s legacy will live on for his grandchildren and many generations to come. 

How Does Storyworth Work?

Step 1 

You chose a question to help get him to start writing and send it in an email. 

Step 2 

Your father simply replies to the question you emailed him, and then it is shared with you. 

Step 3 

After one year, his replies and stories that stem from his responses are bound by Storyworth into a charming and beautiful keepsake book. 

To ensure these books last for generations, the Storyworth company designs the book with quality materials. This ensures the book looks fantastic and ages nicely over time. 

If you feel stumped trying to come up with questions, just go to their website. This is also the website you use to get everything set up. The Storyworth team has plenty of sample questions to help you get into the flow of sending weekly questions. Here are a few examples from their website:

  • What is one of your fondest childhood memories? 
  • What things matter most to you in life? 
  • What items do you think you cannot live without? 
  • Do you have any regrets in life? 
  • Who are your favorite artists? 

Why Storyworth?

Storyworth books can include photos that contribute nicely to the layout and intimacy of the book. It is also a wonderful way to stay connected with family who no longer live close by. The aim of these books is to conserve memories of the past to pass on to future generations while learning more about the special people in your life that matter most to you. You will likely be surprised by some things, and other things might help make sense of why you react the way you do in specific scenarios. Maybe you are more like your father than you realize. 

Since Storyworth began, it has been getting rave reviews, such as this one from Adrianne in Rochester, New York, “Storyworth is more than just a book, more than a collection of stories. It is the gift of time you spend with family uncovering those stories. There has never been a gift that has held more meaning or value to me.” 

At Next Day Access, we are privileged to help families as they shop for mobility equipment or accessibility devices that can make their aging loved ones safer and more comfortable while they are aging in place. We see the bonds between the families and the love children have for their aging parents as they shop. We thank you for making us the place you go to for all your aging loved ones’ needs, and we would like to extend a heartfelt Happy Father’s Day to all the dads this year.

Cognitive decline, memory problems, and isolation issues are all problems that make aging adults vulnerable to mental health issues. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a study of mental health in older adults ages 55 and older showed an estimated 20% of aging adults experience a form of mental health concern. The most common mental impairments include mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, anxiety, or severe cognitive decline.

The CDC reports these conditions can cause impairments in physical health as well as mental health which can complicate the treatment of other disorders. It is usual for older adults to see mental health decline as they age, yet depression and anxiety are not regular parts of aging.

In addition to the possible clinical intervention in the form of prescribed medications or therapy, several resources and activities are available to help older adults feel engaged and in good mental health and spirits. Here are three tips to help aging adults boost their mental health. 

Tip 1: Stay connected and engaged.

When you stay connected and maintain meaningful, strong social connections with family and friends, it helps tremendously with mental health. There are many church groups for aging adults or other community events you can attend. The CDC says social support is associated with reduced risk of mental illness, physical illness, and even mortality. 

Tip 2: Play mind games.

The brain needs stimulation to stay sharp, just as the body needs physical activity to stay healthy. Keeping a sharp mind helps avoid cognitive decline as you age. An article in Harvard Health Publishing says, “Brain games can help sharpen certain thinking skills such as processing speed, planning skills, reaction time, decision-making, and short-term memory.” Some of the most accessible and common activities for aging adults include: 

  • Writing and reading 
  • Learning a new language 
  • Working a puzzle 
  • Playing Crossword or Sudoku brain games 
  • Learning to play an instrument 
  • Participating in trivia-style games- This could also be an outlet for making friends. Many restaurants now have trivia games, usually, once a week, where different trivia leagues compete against each other. You could join a league and make new friends while improving your cognitive health. 

Tip 3: Exercise

Many forms of exercise could boost your confidence while strengthening your mental and physical health. You could choose to go on daily walks, do low-impact yoga, swim, or even take up ballroom dancing. Joining a gym or your local YMCA would be an excellent opportunity for you to check out the classes they offer and meet new people. 

Not only does exercise have many physical benefits, but exercise also helps with managing stress, depression, and anxiety for aging adults. 

At Next Day Access, we care about aging adults. Our mission is to make you feel safe, independent, and comfortable at home or on the go. We do this by offering several different products like wheelchair ramps, vehicle lifts, scooters, grab bars, and so much more. Contact us today and let us help improve your life. 

Are you an older adult struggling with sleeping? These tips can help you with age-related sleep difficulties, overcome insomnia, and get a good night’s rest. As we age, we experience regular changes in our sleep patterns. You could become sleepy earlier in the day, wake up earlier, or feel you are not getting a good night’s rest. However, insomnia symptoms and waking up tired every day are not a normal part of aging. Sleep remains just as vital a part of your mental and physical health as you age.  

When we sleep our body has the opportunity to repair any cell damage and refresh the immune system. A good night’s sleep also helps you mentally by improving concentration and memory formation. If aging adults do not sleep well, they are likely to feel depressed and suffer from memory and attention problems, nighttime falls, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

It is essential you figure out the underlying causes of your sleep difficulties. We hope the following tips will help you overcome and identify age-related sleep issues and improve your waking life as a result.  

How much sleep do aging adults need?

According to an article on www.caring.com (a website dedicated to helping with senior care), older adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. However, if you wake up feeling rested, yet you slept less than the recommended hours, that is more important than the hours you sleep. Indicators you are not getting enough sleep are feeling tired during the day and waking up not feeling rested. 

Tip 1: Identify the underlying issues causing your insomnia

  • Do you struggle with chronic worrying or anxiety? 
  • Have you recently been through a traumatic experience? 
  • Do you have pain or health problems affecting your sleep? 
  • Are you under immense stress? 
  • Do you feel depressed? 
  • Are you on any medications that affect your sleep? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, seek help from a therapist and your doctor. They understand the importance of sleep and can help you work through problems, change your medication, or advise on medical issues interrupting your sleep. 

Tip 2: Develop better sleep habits.

Naturally, boost your melatonin levels by turning off the computer or television an hour before bed and decreasing artificial lights. You could even switch to low-wattage bulbs in lamps if you can still see well with the lower lighting. 

Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. As you get older, you become more sensitive to heat and light. You can wear a sleep mask to shut out light and invest in a sound machine if complete silence bothers you. You should also make sure your bed is inviting and comfortable. Good linens, soft pillows, and a warm comforter can make a huge difference. 

Set up a bedtime routine. By practicing deep mediation and deep breathing techniques or taking a warm bath every night before bed, your body will begin to relax each evening naturally at bedtime. 

Invest in a bed rail. If you worry each night, you could fall out of bed and hurt yourself, it is hard to fall asleep. Install a bed rail to give you better peace of mind. 

Tip 3: Remember diet and exercise help improve sleep.

  • Avoid caffeine and chocolate late in the day. 
  • Do not go to bed hungry. Have a light snack before you get into bed. 
  • Decrease sugary foods from your diet. 
  • Minimize the amount of liquid you drink before sleep. About an hour before bedtime, be mindful of how much fluid you drink, so you do not wake up often to use the bathroom at night. 

We hope these tips will help you feel more rested each day. At Next Day Access, we work to help aging adults every day by offering products that help you stay safe and comfortable while living independently. If you are in need of accessibility devices such as bedrails, or mobility equipment like scooters or wheelchairs, we are the place to call. We will even come to your house for a complimentary consultation. Feel free to contact us today. 

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