Friday, October 30, 2020

The Biggest Senior Mental Health Issues Today


As parents and grandparents age, many adult children (and seniors themselves) fear that their loved one will be diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, enduring years of cognitive decline and ultimately death as a result of the crippling disease. When we think of mental health issues in seniors, Alzheimer’s and dementia is at the forefront of our thoughts, conversations, and research. However, there is another silent killer that poses the biggest threat to senior mental health—depression.

Depressive disorders are the top mental health issue faced by seniors today, said gerontologist Patrick Arbore, EdD, director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief-Related Services, a program of the Institute on Aging in San Francisco that he founded in 1973. Closely following are cognitive disorders (such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease), anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorders, respectively.

During this Covid-19 time of physical distancing, many older adults are feeling isolated, lonely, agitated, and withdrawn, reports the National Council on Aging, noting that those with underlying behavioral health conditions, such as depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and previous substance use disorder are at higher risk for severe anxiety, relapse and thoughts of suicide. Click here to read NCA’s tips for managing your mental health during the pandemic.

According to the Center for Disease Control, between one and five percent of seniors living at home suffer from major depression; the numbers rise to about 14 percent for those who need home health care or are living in an assisted living facility. Those who have chronic diseases are more prone to suffer from depression. Although the rate of those affected increases with age, depression is not a normal part of aging and can be treated in 80 percent of cases. However, depression and other mental health issues are widely unrecognized and untreated among seniors.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, seniors may begin to experience seasonal depression, which often leads to further depression when untreated. A variety of factors can bring on the “holiday blues” – cold weather, shorter days, disabilities that prevent participation in holiday traditions, loneliness, isolation, loss of a spouse, etc. “The holidays are a time of tradition and the gathering of family and friends for many people,” said social worker Mary Stehle, LICSW. “For some seniors, this can be a time that reminds them of losses…the loss of loved ones, the loss of a home, and the loss of good health.”

If these symptoms continue to accumulate and worsen, it can lead to bigger issues, said Arbore. “Loneliness and isolation are such a concern among community-dwelling elderly,” he said. “If that milder depression isn’t recognized, it can get worse, for example, with the death of a spouse or adult son or daughter. That loss could trigger a major depressive episode.”

Arbore said the main reason depression so often goes untreated in seniors is because the value placed on independence makes it difficult to ask for help. “It’s going to make them less likely to say to somebody ‘I haven’t been sleeping that well,’ ‘I’m not making good decisions,’ or ‘I’m not eating very well,’” Arbore said. “That would normally trigger a question about, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ But often – even if they are aware that something has been changing – they still won’t ask for help.” He also pointed out that many seniors don’t know who to ask for help, and may not see the need for a specialist, like a geriatrician.

So how do we fight elderly depression?  Arbore said some crucial needs include mental health specialists for seniors and awareness among family, caregivers, and the healthcare industry of the signs of depression and how to treat it. The following are some signs that a senior may be suffering from a mental health concern, such as depression:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Trouble falling asleep or sleeping too much
  • Decreased socialization
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Excessive worrying
  • Irritability
  • Feeling worthless, helpless or hopeless
  • Changes in appetite
  • Crying spells
  • Trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions

As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week Oct. 4-10, we can help seniors living with mental health issues like depression by continuing to raising awareness of the issue, educating the public, providing support, and replacing the stigma of mental illness with hope. Know that you can reach out to an Amada Senior Care advisor to ask about assistance and available resources.

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Amada Senior Care provides quality private care and assist with Long Term Care Insurance Management.  Call Amada Senior Care at 480-999-5250 to schedule an assessment today! Say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Senior Care Authority

 We are pleased to announce our newest advertiser in our
Phoenix SPOTLIGHT Senior Services & Living Option 

About Senior Care Authority AZ

Finding senior care options can be difficult. That’s why Blake Cook, an Officer in the Marine Corps Reserve, established Senior Care Authority AZ. We want to ensure that every senior and their families can find quality care. 

At Senior Care Authority AZ, our mission is to provide every family the highest level of expertise, support, and resources through each step of your senior care search. From offering recommendations on senior care options in your preferred budget and location to scheduling and accompanying you on tours, we’re there every step of the way.

Our services include finding senior care assisted-living and in-home care options, eldercare consulting, senior advocacy, and family coaching throughout the Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and Mesa areas.

Visit our website for more information:

Hosted by: SPOTLIGHT Senior Services Phoenix

Monday, September 21, 2020

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Abellavida Memory Care

 We are pleased to announce our newest advertiser in the
 Phoenix SPOTLIGHT Senior Services & Living Options Resource Guide

 Abellavida is an assisted living and memory care home for up to 10 residents.  Our focus is on the wellness of the whole person where we consider every aspect of the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs in caring for an individual. 

     We offer activities that encourage residents to be physically active and socially and mentally engaged, such as bocce ball, croquet, exercise classes, crafts, games, and more.  Our family home atmosphere, support of family involvement, and making sure each resident feels loved and cared for, helps us to meet the all-important emotional needs of each individual.  

     This elegant, but welcoming 3-acre estate home is located in northern Phoenix, Arizona, off Highway 17.  The home is over 6,600 square feet with spacious, open common areas.  Our private, fully furnished resident rooms offer luxurious comfort with individual bathrooms and patios.  Residents can enjoy our fully secure grounds boasting a quarter mile of walking paths, gardens, outdoor entertaining areas, horse facilities, fruit orchard, and so much more.  

     We have one of the highest staff to resident ratios in the state with owners that are actively involved and live on the property.  Our team of caregivers are attentive and caring and treat our residents like honored family members.  Come join our family! 

Contact us today! 
Paul Murphy

Hosted by: SPOTLIGHT Senior Services Phoenix

Friday, September 11, 2020

Maintaining Close Bonds with Parents from Afar


This Sunday marks the 25th National Parents’ Day, a commemoration launched to celebrate and support parents for their role in helping to develop strong communities by raising happy children. Even when a child grows up into a self-sufficient adult, they are still that precious baby in an aging parent’s eyes. Parents’ Day can serve to remind adult children that their senior parents likely are needing more of their love and support. This need has become a clear priority in this time of pandemic, given that the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases for older adults and the elderly.

Of course, jobs and life events tend to separate adult daughters and sons from their parents. This often leaves children far away from mom and dad, and visits back home to see them likely have been less frequent over the years as “life happens.” COVID-19 has put a new focus on increased communication as a necessity for the emotional and mental health of elderly parents due to travel restrictions and stay-at-home advisories.

Right now, you can’t put a price on the value of letters, packages, cards and other tangible items received by a senior loved one. Even more dear are phone calls offering a little more intimacy, especially if you feel your parent needs to hear your voice. In addition, technology today allows us to reach parents through live video communication. Whichever medium of connection you choose to bond with your parents from afar, it can make the distance between you seem smaller.

If you are a long-distance family caregiver, managing an aging parent’s care can get in the way of bonding if you take more of a “supervisor” or “babysitter” role over your mom or dad. Don’t hesitate to contact an Amada Senior Care advisor to discuss ways to preserve your relationship or learn about user-friendly technology designed to help them live safely and independently at home. Read on for more ideas on how to bond with your parents and keep those crucial lines of communication open.

Ask …

  • How are you? Mean it when you ask, listen and inquire further on their response.
  • Who’s been keeping you company? Find out who your parents’ friends and caregivers are, then get to know how your parents feel about them.
  • What has been making you happy lately?  Know where your parent sources their happiness. Just telling you about a person, TV show or hobby they enjoy can make your parent very happy.
  • Did you catch that movie/show? Follow up on your parents’ interests, like games they watch, television shows they love or movies that have just come out. If you also share these interests, there is a lot for you both to talk about!
  • Did you know …? Let your parent know about family updates or other interesting things that affect either of your lives. Aging parents learn easily by word-of-mouth from people they trust.
  • How was that last doctor’s appointment? Keep a rapport of your parent’s health care. Show that you are both concerned about and up-to-date with their well-being.
  • What’s new with …? Know what has already been going on in your parent’s life. Ask for updates about things they have been doing.

Offer …

  • Family updates Tell your parent about your spouse, your children, or any other relatives that they may not talk to often. Keeping a parent in tune with the family makes them feel like part of a community.
  • General news in both of your communities If you know of important or interesting news in your community or your parents’, talk about them. Maybe there is an important weather update or fun event to look out for.
  • News about you Part of the joy of connecting with your parent is letting them know about your life. Talk about work, family, and how you feel about anything else in life. Your parent may be very interested in you.
  • Why you called Sometimes, we feel an invisible nudge to reach out to our aging parents. They want to know why you call. They want to know why and how you care.
  • Who else says hello If someone has told you to say hello to your parent for them, let your parent know. It is nice to know that someone thought of them.
  • What life is like for you Let your parent live a bit vicariously through your adventures through life. Share life triumphs or battles with your parent.
  • Interesting things you’ve learned When you learn something new about other people, technology, politics, celebrities, or anything else, share it! If it interested you, your parent will be interested in finding out why.
  • Health updates If you have a hand in managing your parents’ health care, give them gentle reminders about upcoming appointments.

Send …

  • Pictures You can bet on your parent saving every picture you send. Send photos via snail mail or email of your life to give them access to you from far away.
  • News Clippings When a family member, friend, or beloved sports or celebrity figure is in the newspaper, send a link via email or a clipping via snail mail of it to you parent. If you know what news your parent will care about, they may want something tangible as a keepsake.
  • Hobby Items If your parent has a hobby, send them material for it. Craft items, instruction manuals, magazines, or even samples of work encourage your parent to keep up with their hobby.
  • Clothes Anyone can send their parent a new outfit. But if there is spirit wear for your child’s sports team or branded apparel from work that you can send them, they will wear it proudly as a representation of you and to feel close to you.
  • Work Samples When you are particularly proud of a piece of work, send a copy or review of it to your parent.
  • Children’s Schoolwork Children from any grade level bring home work that they want to show off. After congratulating your child for their artwork, test grades, or essays, send them to your parents to include them in the celebration.
  • Holiday Cards If you are unable to meet face-to-face for a holiday, send a card or call to show you care.
  • Web Articles or Videos Online, it is easy to email or share content on social media. Share web articles or videos that interest you with your parent. The small gesture lets them know that you are thinking about them.

Learn …

  • Your differences and similarities As you and your parent age, you may realize you are either more similar or different than you think. Learn characteristics that you share in common with your parent. Learn how they do things differently, and whether it’s good for you to adopt their strengths.
  • Technology Technology typically advances faster than the elderly can learn it but taking the time to help your parent understand a smartphone, tablet or computer might make communication easier with them. Be patient when you introduce technology to your parent. It will pay off.
  • New ways to communicate If there are barriers to break down while you maintain a close bond with your parents from afar, you will inevitably learn new ways to communicate. Already, the distance between you affects how you connect. But growing in adulthood and old age also teaches us how to relate, how to talk like adults and how to listen. Practice and build good, healthy communication with your parents to make the most of your close bond.
The COVID-19 situation will continue to change, but what remains steady is Amada Senior Care’s commitment to our communities. If you are having difficulty with heightened anxiety or uncertain about what assistance a loved one might require, please know we’re here for you 24/7 to help.
It may feel like life is in a holding pattern, but as a caring community we will get through this together.  Amada Senior Care provides quality private care and assist with Long Term Care Insurance Management.  Call Amada Senior Care at 480-999-5250 to schedule an assessment today!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Getlabs - Mobile In-Home Phlebotomy Services

 We are pleased to announce our newest advertiser in the
Phoenix SPOTLIGHT Senior Services & Living Options Guide

Stay safe and skip the waiting room. Getlabs provides safe and easy at-home lab appointments.

With Getlabs, you or your caregiver can go to and pick a convenient time for a home visit. We then send a mobile phlebotomist to collect your lab samples and deliver them to top laboratories including LabCorp and Sonora Quest. Once your results are ready, the provider who issued your lab order will provide them to you.

Our mobile phlebotomists are hand-picked and vetted to ensure they are not only highly qualified, but also professional, personable, and caring - especially toward seniors and elderly patients. To ensure our specialists provide an excellent experience, we also provide hospitality training.

We charge $49 self-pay per visit. This is considerably less than the industry average for mobile phlebotomy ($75-150 per visit).

Our team hopes to have the opportunity to show you why Getlabs is the safest and most convenient choice for getting your labs collected.

When booking, please enjoy 15% off your first visit with promo code “SSS15”

Need help? Call or text us at (480) 690-7880
Please say, "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"

Friday, June 26, 2020

TRUST: It's Critical Role In Senior Care

Family caregivers can understand why they typically are the preferred providers of their senior loved ones’ long-term care. Not only are they trusted and familiar, but in the best cases they are proven to have the authentic love and concern that care giving requires. Therefore, it can be difficult for seniors and families to open this close circle of trust to additional help. But when caregiver burnout or financial constraints limit the amount of long-term care a family can provide, sometimes the only option left is to trust someone else with the task.
With the COVID-19 global pandemic is putting some extra stresses on family caregivers, they may want to consider getting some support while sheltering at home to minimize exposure. Caring for a loved one at home already has its challenges, especially when it involves a health condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, hypertension, COPD or CHF. A professional caregiver from an agency like Amada Senior Care can provide standby assistance to ensure a loved one’s safety and supervision and provide respite care to family caregivers who may be starting to experience symptoms of stress.
Quality senior care requires a patient-centered approach. Trust ties together the entire support network of the many human connections surrounding a patient. All participating parties – from seniors to family, doctors, caregivers, facilities, and agencies – are involved in long-term care and depend on each other in some way. When trust is securely in place, this dependence is only functional and healthy
When the following three types of relationships work harmoniously to benefit a senior, you know that trust has been established to create a supporting bond that you or your elderly loved ones can lean on. Along with these examples of trust’s critical role in senior care, here are ways for you to build it:
Trust Between Senior and Caregiver
Can you or your elderly loved one depend on a caregiver to be punctual, reliable and easy to communicate with? Is the caregiver responsible? And does the state of the senior’s health, hygiene, mood, and home reflect this? If questions like these can be answered with a confident “yes,” the caregiver has earned your trust. Both parties need to continue actively building trust in this relationship.
Caregivers must provide personalized services that meet all expectations set by the senior’s needs, by the family or by the agency that employs them. They must also value the very close proximity they have to a senior as a sensitive position. They should show attentive interest in the senior from the very start. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a person with dementia can actually sense a caregiver’s lack of interest or impatience. Seniors take cues like this to determine the trustworthiness of their caregivers. Seniors and families who see good habits and a positive, genuine mindset in a caregiver will feel reassured in depending on them to supervise their elderly loved one.
Families should slowly integrate caregivers into a senior’s daily life and develop trust in them. Take an appropriate amount of time to interview agencies and caregivers. Once hired, incrementally escalate a caregiver’s amount of responsibilities and the level of intimacy that comes with them. For example, let the caregiver focus on companionship and housekeeping before monitoring hygiene and dressing. Over time and with patience and supervision, you will soon see whether you can trust a caregiver.
Trust Between Caregiver and Supervisor
The relationship between a caregiver and their supervisor is a working dynamic. Behind the curtain of senior care are skilled professionals dedicated to providing the best quality of service for senior loved ones. The caregiver’s supervisor is one of these professionals who is just as concerned about the quality of care as a senior or their family may be. Indeed, their livelihood depends on it.
A good supervisor makes sure the caregivers they hire are qualified with the correct background, training and certification. This may include facilitating background checks, reference checks, phone and in-person interviews and required orientation. Before a caregiver ever sees the senior, they’ll care for, they are vetted or screened to be a good worker and a representative of their agency. Agencies like Amada Senior Care rely on this process to find caregivers who reflect the integrity of their supervisors as well as their entire organization.
“Our caregivers make us who we are. Without the commitment, dedication and love they show our clients, Amada could never have become what it is today.” – Chad Fotheringham, President of Amada Senior Care Franchise
There needs to be mutual trust between a caregiver and their supervisor. A caregiver with a good supervisor will work with dedicated commitment and high quality. Caregivers mistreated by supervisors or clients are given less motivation to do their job well or to care much about it. When a good supervisor provides the guidance, respect and compensation caregivers deserve, they are trusted in return. All of this leads to better care for the seniors who trust them.
Trust Between Families and Service Providers
Just because a service provider, like a living facility or caregiver agency, advertises their business as the right fit, you are the one who will ultimately confirm this. When your selection of a service provider affects everything around the senior receiving care, trust must be earned at its highest value.
Seeing as you will be paying service providers for long-term care, you need to expect them to deliver trustworthy service that meets the bill. You may feel open to trusting a service provider with the long-term care of you or your senior loved one, given that you pay them to do their job. Letting go of this responsibility exposes you or your loved one to unknown dangers that you may not be able to control.
Elder abuse is a real problem in society. Its risk factors include senior isolation, declining physical and mental health, high level of dependence, and caregiver stress. You want a service provider with training and protocols in place, as Amada Senior Care does, to protect seniors against these risk factors and to prevent elder abuse from happening. You can find such an agency by ensuring that trust, as depicted in the above examples, is strongly founded in their organization, operations, and personnel.
Ask as many questions as you can when shopping for a service provider and trust your intuition if it tells you something is wrong. Speak to long-term care advisors about your options, then make your decisions after enough research. Monitor care after you have decided on a provider and take assertive action should you ever need to find another one.
While you are responsible for the final say on a service provider’s trustworthiness, the provider’s job is to perform and operate for the purpose of earning your trust every step of the way. When trust is earned, everybody wins.
Amada Senior Care provides quality private care and assist with Long Term Care Insurance Management.  Call Amada Senior Care at 480-999-5250 to schedule an assessment today! Say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Shadow Mountain Memory Care

We are pleased to announce Shadow Mountain Memory Care as our new advertiser in the Phoenix SPOTLIGHT Senior Services
& Living Options Guide 

Opening Fall 2020!

Shadow Mountain Memory Care is a charming and safe memory care community that is dedicated to serving the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Conveniently located in Phoenix, Arizona, Shadow Mountain Memory Care provides services and amenities that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of our memory-impaired residents so that they may enjoy a supportive and safe environment. We consider it a great honor to provide these individuals with the care and respect they deserve.
Residents and family members enjoy the beautifully furnished and comfortable neighborhoods that are fully equipped with all the comforts of home. There are no “visiting hours” at Shadow Mountain Memory Care; friends and family members are always welcome. Prospective residents and their family members are encouraged to visit too — we offer several different floor plan options and many amenities, including:
  • Individual AC/heating units
  • Garden views
  • Built-in storage
  • Hardwood-style flooring
  • Individual and group activities including exercise and walking clubs, weekly book/writing groups, cooking, art, movies, music programs, and MORE!
  • Nondenominational worship
  • Home-cooked meals
  • Each neighborhood has its own spacious kitchen and dining room area
  • Encouragement with activities of daily living
  • Bathing assistance
  • Meal and activity reminders
  • Personal laundry & routine housekeeping
  • Scheduled transportation for medical appointments/outings
  • Emergency assistance
  • Staff available 24-hours each day
Call us today! We are interested in learning about your needs.  #480-359-2123 Say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"