Archive | Helpful Resources

Adjusting to a New Home

Ruth (left) and Ebba are adjusting well to their new home.

Adjusting to assisted living is a challenging transition both for seniors and for their loved ones. One of the most difficult aspects of the change is the older adult living in a different place with new people. Often, a motivating factor for the transition to assisted living is concerns about older adults’ safety living alone. Also, many seniors require more consistent monitoring and increased social engagement, which families are unable to provide without assistance. Although the benefits of assisted living are fruitful, there are also difficult moments in the initial transition phase. Read below for some tips to an smoother transition from independent to assisted living.

Planning visits with friends and loved ones prior to the move is helpful. If you’re a caregiver or family member, facilitating the move is likely one of your roles. Seniors can enter their new home with plans that they can look forward to in the near and distant future. Visits do not have to be elaborate. A short shopping trip or chat at a local café often does the trick. Holidays such as Christmas and New Years can include more substantive plans like a home visit or a short trip away.

Click Here To View Our Activity Scrapbook Of Holiday Celebration Photos

If you’re a senior transitioning to a new home, keeping an open mind is very important. No one is denying the difficulty of leaving all that was familiar and moving to a new environment. There are certain choices you can make to help yourself transition more easily. Socializing with other residents and staff members is one way to feel connected to your new home. Attend events hosted by the assisted living facility and bond with your neighbors.

Consider Respite Care at Doolittle Home

Doolittle Home offers respite care for stays of seven days or more. This allows an older adult to get a taste of Doolittle Home and engage in the daily activities and events while the caregiver takes a vacation or prepares for the holidays. With three hot meals a day, social interaction with the staff and residents in a bed and breakfast atmosphere, it is a wonderful experience for the older adult. The caregiver can be at ease knowing all needs, including nursing care and medication management is handled by our dedicated professional staff.

To schedule a tour call Deanna Willis 508.543.2694.
Click Here To Watch What Others Have To Say About Us

References
http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Assisted-Living-Transition-for-elderly-parents-136537.htm

 

 

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November Is National Diabetes Month

Nutrition is an important part of the medical treatment plan for diabetes. Diet is critical for management of the disease because of the way that diabetic bodies change when glucose enters the system. For people without diabetes, the insulin in their bodies moderates the amount of glucose in the blood. When someone has diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin and/or use insulin in the correct way. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs after the age of 40. Therefore, middle and older adults are at risk for developing the disease. Read below for how older adults can prevent the onset of diabetes and curb the effects once diagnosed.

Older adults who are diabetic must maintain a strict diet and exercise regimen to ensure that diabetes does not worsen. Making healthy food choices in line with a diabetic diet is not as challenging as it was ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. The National Institute of Health advocates for people to divide their plate in fourths. Half of the plate should include non-starchy vegetables.  The other half of the plate should be divided equally into grains and starchy vegetables and protein. If you’re unsure how to proceed with an appropriate food plan, consult a nutritionist recommended by your primary care doctor.

Physical exercise is another essential part of older adults staying healthy with diabetes. Even if engaging in physical activities is difficult, there are always accommodations you can make. For example, if you enjoy playing golf, forgo the cart and walk the course. If you love to dance, join a Zumba class and take breaks when you’re feeling fatigued. At a minimum, stay active and hydrated. Finding a community that supports your healthy lifestyle is a perfect first step. For more information about Diabetes, visit the national diabetes website.

Doolittle Home provides medication management for all of our residents. We also have a dietician on staff who works with our dietary team to ensure that each resident’s nutritional needs are carefully met. Three healthy and delicious meals are provided to our residents each day with the availability of snacks between meals. In addition, we have 24/7 nursing staff in the home who also monitor residents’ daily health. To learn about all the many services provided at Doolittle Home, please click here.

References
http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/diabetes-older-people-disease-you-can-manage#sthash.E6Y1Paf8.dpuf

 

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Doolittle Home Explains About The Importance Of Adhering to A Medication Regimen

Adherence to a medication regimen is one of the most important parts of an older adult’s life. Unfortunately, there is a relationship between a person’s age and the amount of medications they are required to take. The older people become the more medication they need to maintain their health.  Older adults have difficulty maintaining a medication regimen due to memory issues and visual impairment. Only 20-50% of older adults take medication as prescribed. When older adults do not take medication as prescribed, they are at great risk of developing new medical health issues or exacerbating the ones for which the medication treats.

One of the primary reasons why medication adherence is overlooked is due to lack of meaningful communication between older adults and caregivers. When caregivers are unaware of older adults’ medication management routine, they are unable to support them in adhering to the schedule. Many older adults prefer to live in their own homes in order to maintain an independent lifestyle. When this is the case, adult child caregivers should ensure that their parents are taking medication as prescribed. Although older adults might feel defensive at first, adult children can lay out medication each day to remind parents which pills to take at a particular time. Over time, caregivers can continue to increase the amount of support they provide the older adult regarding medication. For example, caregivers can count medication and monitor older adults taking the pills. If this is not possible, you may need to hire a visiting nurse or select a senior care living option such as Doolittle Home to administer the medication.

Meet Linda
Linda Faria, LPN Dedicated and caring staff member for over 12 years. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work at Doolittle Home, where residents receive such quality of care. ”

About Doolittle Home

Doolittle Home is a private nonprofit retirement home providing extraordinary care for those 65 and older. Residents live within a beautiful home that looks and feels more like a comfortable New England Bed & Breakfast than a long term care facility. Doolittle Home also has a Supportive Nursing Care Unit for those residents needing additional care. We offer significantly more personal care than an Assisted Living Facility with a small resident to staff ratio. Up to 32 women & men can call Doolittle Home their home at any given time. Care options include Life Care, month to month and respite care. There are no hidden fees at Doolittle Home, including 24/7 nursing care. For more information about Doolittle Home call 508.543.2694 and ask for DeAnna Willis.

Click Here For Doolittle Home FAQ
Click Here For A Virtual Tour of Doolittle Home

References
http://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2011/January2011/RxFocus-0111

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breast Cancer Awareness for Older Women

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer rates are rising every year. In 2013, 296,980 women will be diagnosed with the disease. Although the rates of breast cancer are increasing, the 5-year relative survival rate has improved significantly since the mid-1970s. Older women are considered a special population in the breast cancer community because of their unique needs. More than 40% of new cases of breast cancer occur in women ages 65 and older. There are many different ways that older adults can be proactive in preventing breast cancer and treating it once diagnosed.

Older adults should engage in self-breast exams and yearly mammograms to prevent breast cancer. Creating a preventative treatment plan with a doctor to avoid breast cancer is an important first step. Some older adults might have difficulty getting to a doctor. Therefore, supportive friends and family members should make an effort to ensure that they attend yearly appointments and annual mammograms. Given the recent publicity about breast cancer and medical treatment options, it is likely that you will have many questions for the doctor. As always, bring written questions to the appointment.

Aside from engaging in regular self-breast examinations and yearly mammography, older adults should consult with their doctor and review their medication regimen. A recent study tied high blood pressure medication to breast cancer in older adults. This study does not mean that older adults should not take high blood pressure medication. Rather, in light of these findings, older adults should have a conversation with their doctor and create an individualized treatment plan that minimizes the risk of developing new conditions.

Meet Christine Kent, Director Of Nursing Services

Christine came to Doolittle Home in 1997. A graduate of St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, Christine began her Doolittle Home career as a night shift nurse. Christine has been Director since 2005, and oversees a staff of 25 nurses, CNAs, as well as the Physical Therapist, Medical Director, Dietician, Social Worker, and Pharmacy Consultant. Christine says, “Working at Doolittle Home is like working with family. We all work together as a team to get the job done. What each of us brings to the residents, makes the difference.

References
http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021546314_hypertensionbreastcancerxml.html
http://ww5.komen.org/KomenNewsArticle.aspx?id=19327354166

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Older Adults On the Road

 

Older adults and those who love them need to recognize that driving skills change as we age. Taking an honest look at how older adults’ driving has changed can allow us to incorporate some protective factors for mobile seniors. Every senior has a unique driving context, but there are some common challenges experienced by all.

After the age of 70, individuals are more likely to have fatal car crashes due to decreased vision, sluggish reflexes, and impaired hearing. Even if you’ve had a perfect driving record for your entire life, the effects of aging may compromise your ability to drive safely. Recognizing this as a reality is a very important first step. After you’ve recognized some of the inevitable risk factors associated with aging and driving, it’s now time to take some preventative steps to be sure you stay safe on the road.

Schedule yearly physical, eye, and hearing appointments. It’s important to always keep your annual appointments with doctors. If there is something that requires treatment it is better to have that information sooner rather than later. If you have a chronic or acute medical condition that prevents full range of motion, a physical therapist can work with you on finding aids that could help you stay mobile.

If driving is something that is no longer an option for you, there are many other ways of getting around. Link up with a local carpool or shuttle service. Walking and bike riding are other options that can help you stay mobile and fit at the same time.

 

References

http://www.helpguide.org/elder/senior_citizen_driving.htm

 

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Acupuncture For Older Adults

 

Many older adults are struggling with chronic health issues. Long-term health concerns are a strain on individuals, families, and societies. Health conditions are challenging for any person regardless of the diagnosis. However, chronic conditions pose unique challenges for the patient, doctor, and the patient’s family. Acupuncture is a holistic approach to treating chronic medical conditions that have yielded positive and mixed scientific results. Read below to learn more about the benefits and limitations of acupuncture for older adults, particularly as a way to relieve chronic pain.

Acupuncture is the oldest healing practice in the world, originating in China. Healing is facilitated with the insertion of needles and heat at particular pressure points in the body. According to the National Institute of Health, acupuncture opens channels in the body, known as meridians, in order to increase the flow of energy (qi). A theory of acupuncture is that pain and other conditions occur because energy channels are blocked or slow moving at various parts of the body.

If you’re thinking about consulting your doctor about acupuncture, you are not alone. A 2007 National Health Interview Survey said that 3.1 million Americans reported to have used acupuncture in the last year. The most common conditions that brought individuals into the acupuncturist were pain or musculoskeletal issues. The results about the effects of acupuncture on various health conditions are still mixed, though. For example, a 2009 review on pain-relieving effects of acupuncture compared to placebo was inconclusive.

Choose personalized care, peace of mind comfort and a cozy home-like setting at the Doolittle Home. Call 508-543-2694 for a personal tour. Click Here To Visit Our Website

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Show Mom How Much You Care

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. How will you show your Mom how much you care about her on this special day? Are you stumped on how to ring in Mother’s Day this year? It’s easy to get “present block” and draw a complete blank on how to celebrate your Mom in a meaningful way. Planning your celebration in advance will ensure its success. Read below for some ideas on how to share a special day with your Mom without breaking the bank.

Offer your Mom a day of relaxation. How does your Mom like to unwind? If she enjoys gardening, purchase flowers and gardening supplies for her. Plant flowers together. Watching a movie in a cool theater followed by a homemade picnic lunch is a different way to relax. Engaging in mindfulness meditation and yoga practices together is yet another activity that gets stress out of the way and peace back into the picture.

Eating is a very popular way that many daughters choose to bond with Mom. Attend a spiritual or religious service with your Mom to honor her place in your life and treat her to a gourmet brunch afterwards. If baking and cooking is up your alley, make your own buffet of her favorite foods, decorating the table with pictures of you both across the years. Extend invitations to other mother-daughter couples to bring some liveliness to the event.

Regardless of what activity you choose, your Mom will be happy just to spend time with the apple of her eye.

For those who’s mom has passed and would like to make a tribute in her name Click Here

Please call Doolittle Home located in Southeastern Massachusetts for additional information or to arrange a tour. We invite your inspection and comparison of our unique services to the elderly. There are many options available to those making decisions for aging loved ones but nobody can match the care and commitment of Doolittle Home.

What we offer is;
*Licensed Nurses 24/7 365 days per year
*Administer medications
*Serve 3 meals per day under the direction of a licensed dietician and certified food service supervisor
*Assist in a residents grooming and dressing
*Launder and iron a resident’s personal clothing
*Provide bed linens and towels
*Transport residents to medical appointments
*Provide a wide variety of stimulating activities
*Monitor residents daily for proactive care
All this for one low monthly fee. Call 508-543-2694 to speak with our caring staff about your options. Click Here To Watch Video Testimonials

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The Importance Of Nixing Salt From Your Diet As An Older Adult

March is National Nutrition month! If you’re an older adult struggling with diet-related health issues, now is the time to overhaul your nutrition and eating behaviors. A report from ABC News suggests that by 2030 more than half of all Americans will be obese. The obesity epidemic will cost the U.S. up to $66 million dollars in treatment costs. In addition to the costs to our country, obesity also impacts your health and pocketbook. Cutting out salt from your diet is one of first steps to getting and staying healthy.

Salt and sugar are not all bad. In the appropriate portions salt and sugar are necessary for your overall health. Given the increase portions of salt and sugar in almost all food products, most of us are not in dire need of these nutrients. You can jumpstart cutting down on salt and sugar in two simple ways. The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide Read suggests rinsing all canned vegetables, beans, tuna, and chicken. Rinsing your canned food will reduce salt intake by 40%. Another surefire way to facilitate healthy eating is to dine out less and cook home more. When you cook your food from home you have more control over the amount of salt in your diet.

If you are concerned about your health and diet, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Making changes to your diet is serious business and requires the supervision of a trained professional. When you meet with your doctor, inquire about a nutritionist to help you make a reduced-sodium meal plan.

Doolittle Home serves three delicious meals per day under the direction of a licensed dietician and certified food service supervisor. Please call us additional information or to arrange a tour. We invite your inspection and comparison of our unique services to the elderly. There are many options available to those making decisions for aging loved ones but nobody can match the care and commitment of Doolittle Home.  Click Here To Watch long time resident Evie talk about Doolittle Home.

References

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/americans-obese-2030-report-warns/story?id=17260134#.UOxlKaVm2-8

 http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/19/10-ways-to-cut-out-salt-and-sugar/#ixzz2HPY52YjX

 

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Seasonal Affective Disorder Blues?

Are you concerned about an older adult who seems withdrawn, disengaged, tired, and irritable? These signs may point to a number of issues. However, they also might be related to the cold, dark, winter season. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a psychological condition where people become depressed during particular seasons, namely winter. Similar to the effects of other mental health disorders, SAD can have a ripple effect on various aspects of an individual’s life. Symptoms of SAD include but are not limited to: a change in appetite, weight gain, change in sleeping patterns, loss of energy, and inability to concentrate.

If you suspect that an older adult in your life is struggling from SAD, encourage him/her to seek professional treatment. SAD can only be diagnosed by a trained professional, which could be a psychologist, therapist, or doctor. The National Institute of Health suggests that people struggling from SAD adopt a walking routine during the daylight hours. If exercise is out of the question because of medical issues, older adults can sit outside and enjoy the sun, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.

Of course, taking a vacation to a warm place is a wonderful option. If you can afford to take your older parent or friend for a weekend get-a-way, do it! Perhaps you could intertwine a short vacation into a gift for your parent or friend. At a minimum, engage your parent or friend in conversation about how they are feeling, validating their emotions and perspectives.

The activities calendar at The Doolittle Home is designed with the individual resident in mind.  Daily, residents choose from a variety of programs to challenge the mind, body and soul. The Doolittle Home provides daily exercise classes, and unique social opportunities, such as engaging games and movies, arts & crafts, interesting lectures as well as live entertainment. Doolittle Home provide residents with community interaction and involvement. The activities program also fully encourages and supports family involvement and volunteers. Click Here To View Activities Scrapbook

Call 508-543-2694 to arrange a personal tour with DeAnna Willis, Doolittle Home’s Executive Director.

 

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Taking On the Weight Loss Challenge For Spring

Weight loss is one of the most difficult goals that Americans place on their list of resolutions. According to the Center for Disease Control, over one-third of Americans are obese. Advertisers promise us quick fixes for weight loss. How many times have advertisements promised you 10 pounds of weight loss in one week? A rapid, 30 day juice cleanse? We believe that these quick fixes will be the answer to all of our weight problems. Given the statistics, these fads are not working. Read below to learn more about why weight loss is such a challenge, particularly for older adults.

Findings from the National Weight Control Registry suggest that individuals need significantly more exercise than we thought. Five thousand individuals in the registry who lost 60 pounds and maintained their weight loss reported one hour of exercise every day! For older adults, exercising for an hour may not be possible. Therefore, it’s important for older adults to work with an exercise specialist to create a regimen that is right for them.

Eating healthy food in moderation is another piece to the puzzle that is often neglected. Older adults may feel pressured to eat in social situations, especially if festivities center on food. This may be especially prevalent over the holiday season.  According to Linda Bacon, associate professor of nutrition at UC Davis, “We get a tremendous amount of pressure to eat for reasons other than nurturing ourselves, and over time, people lose sensitivity to hunger/fullness/appetite signals meant to keep them healthy and well nourished.”

Doolittle Home serves three delicious meals per day under the direction of a licensed dietician and certified food service supervisor. Please call us additional information or to arrange a tour. We invite your inspection and comparison of our unique services to the elderly. There are many options available to those making decisions for aging loved ones but nobody can match the care and commitment of Doolittle Home.  Click Here To Watch long time resident Evie talk about Doolittle Home.

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