Raleigh Lee

All posts by Raleigh Lee

Grieving Friends Need Your Help

Grief can create some very uncomfortable situations and relationships. Here are some tips from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors for helping your friends who are grieving:

woman in grief

Help your friends by allowing them to express their feelings and encouraging them to turn to friends, family members, or their religious or spiritual leaders and/or join a bereavement group for support. Be sure to remind them to take care of their own health during this time. Also follow these guidelines:

  • Be available. Offer support in an unobtrusive but persistent manner.
  • Listen without giving advice.
  • Do not offer stories of your own. This can have the effect of dismissing the grieving person’s pain.
  • Allow the grieving person to use expressions of anger or bitterness, including such expressions against God. This may be normal behavior in an attempt to find meaning and what has happened.
  • Realize that no one can replace or undo the loss. To heal, the individual must endure the grief process. Allow him or her to feel the pain.
  • Be patient, kind, and understanding without being patronizing. Don’t claim to know what the other person is feeling.
  • Don’t force the individual to share feelings if he or she doesn’t want to.
  • Physical and emotional touch can bring great comfort to the bereaved. Don’t hesitate to share a hug or hold your friend’s hand when appropriate.
  • Be there later, when friends and family have all gone back to their routines.
  • Remember holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, which have important meaning for the bereaved. Offer support during this time. Don’t be afraid to remind the person of the loss; he or she is already thinking about it.

I Think This is Funny!

Tech companies are targeting the burgeoning market for older adults, but some of their products are doubtful at best.

This Belt is Not Hip

The No. 1 cause of injuries and death from injury for older Americans is falls, according to a report by the Population Research Bureau. In 2014 alone, 29 million falls by older Americans cost Medicare $30 billion.

French company Helite is marketing a fall protection belt that inflates like an airbag when a fall is detected. Currently available in the European Union, the Hip’Safe is slated to premiere in the States in September. The belt is light, easy to put on and comfortable to wear. A beeper alerts the user if the belt is worn the wrong way, and arrows offer guidance when it’s buckled. What’s not to like?

For starters, the price is more than €800, which is equivalent to $934 here in the U.S. Good luck getting Medicare to cover that, especially when you’d have to wear the thing 24/7 to be effective.

Although the Hip’Safe is not as obvious as, say, bubble-wrapping your entire midsection, it’s going to be noticeable in anything other than a Mumu with tulle underskirts. There will be no hiding it, although you could try to pass it off as a money belt for the VERY wealthy who insist on buying that next yacht in nothing but small bills.

It’s also going to be a pain in the rear when nature calls, in particular for the ladies. Do you shimmy it up above your waist and hope it stays, or take it off and then have to buckle back up? And if you’re in a public bathroom, do you sling it over the door while you take care of business, or stuff it in your monster-size purse?

The website homepage shows an older man and woman smiling, each carrying a grandchild on their shoulders … but what the heck are they doing that for if they’re at heightened risk of falling?! If one of them goes down, they will be left on the ground while the little kid is rushed to the hospital, so yes, they need to have their hip belt on! Maybe each of the grandkids should have a Hip’Safe device wrapped around their head. Clearly, somebody at corporate has not thought this through.

Tech Flops at Brookdale

Brookdale Senior Living tests new technology in its facilities via an ongoing Entrepreneur in Residence program.

One idea Brookdale thought would be a huge hit was the body dryer. Resembling a photo booth or shower stall, the huge dryer can dry off a user in just a few minutes with soothing warm air and heat lamps. Developed by Care Dryers, the device was installed in a model apartment. Brookdale theorized that it would cut down on caregiver labor, reduce towel laundry and be gentler on delicate skin.

But the dryer sparked very little interest.

“We made the mistake of putting the dryer in a model apartment and asking residents if they would come in to experience the dryer,” Smith explained. “We attempted to get residents to agree to taking their shower in the model apartment and then using the body dryer. Not one resident agreed to take a shower in the model apartment and then use the body dryer. …If we did it over again, we would put the dryer in one of our spas.”

What were they thinking!?

Memory Improvement Strategies

Do you need this? I do!

  • Keep to-do lists. Check off tasks as they’re accomplished.
  • Establish and follow a routine (for example, taking medication at the same time every day).
  • Don’t rush to remember or recall. Doing so can produce anxiety, which can impair memory further.
  • Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place.
  • Use associations when trying to memorize new information to aid in recall. For example, to memorize Dr. Applegate’s name, visualize an apple on top of a gate.
  • Boost memorization power by using mnemonic devices to remember lists. For example, try to make an acronym from a grocery list to aid with recall — AMBER might be one way to remember a list of apples, milk, bread, eggs, and rice.
  • Keep a calendar of events or appointments and check it a couple of times a day.
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Half of all strokes occur in people over age 75, but the risk of stroke doubles for every decade after age 55.
Here’s a system from the National Stroke Association to identify the warning signs of a stroke if you suspect someone in your presence might be having one:
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 911 immediately.
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