More than six million Americans over age 65 experience clinical depression, and there are certain life changes which are common among seniors that may increase the risk of depression. Fears – Anxiety about death, financial problems or health issues Health …read more
Treatment rates are much lower in seniors than in teens or younger adults, which may be because older adults display depression symptoms differently. Here are some signs that your senior loved one may be depressed.
Many older adults with depression eat less than they normally would. They may have trouble going to the store or have lost their appetite. This often causes unintentional weight loss, which can lead to functional decline in activities of daily living (ADLs), and an increased risk of developing fractures and infections.
Memory problems do not always signal dementia. If your loved one is suddenly having trouble concentrating or making decisions, they could be experiencing a major depressive episode – a period lasting at least two weeks involving persistent sadness or loss of interest in nearly all activities. Depression causes rapid mental decline and depressed older adults are more likely to notice and worry about their forgetfulness than those with dementia.
Aging does not slow all seniors down. In fact, many take part in physical activities with family and friends. If you notice your loved one is not as active or social as they used to be, it could be a sign that they are depressed.
Depression can cause sleep disturbances that affect energy levels. Older adults may have trouble falling or staying asleep and they may be so tired during the day that they miss out on events they once loved.
Insomnia is also a risk factor for depression, especially in seniors. Medical experts recommend treatment with the hormone melatonin or low doses of antidepressants, such as doxepin and trazodone.
Older adults with depression may no longer take care of themselves as they once did. If your senior family member is bathing or shaving less frequently, wearing dirty clothes or forgetting to take their medications, they may be depressed. You can help by offering to do their laundry or making meals to show that you care about them.
Suicide is often thought to be more common in young adults, but the highest rates are actually among adults between 45 and 64 years old and those older than 85. If your loved one is showing any signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior, seek medical attention immediately.
While most of us think depression and sadness go hand in hand, many depressed seniors say they do not feel sad at all. Instead, they may complain about unexplained or aggravated aches, such as arthritis pain or worsening headaches. Medical conditions that cause this pain can trigger depression or make symptoms worse. Some medications also have side effects that contribute to depression. A doctor can help your loved one find the best treatment strategy that takes into account both their physical and emotional needs.
If your loved one is struggling with health issues, they need the support of family and qualified caregivers to help them cope. A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab offers many care options, including rehabilitation, short-term recovery and long-term nursing, so you can feel confident that your senior family member will be taken care of.
Call 877-918-6413 or contact us online to learn more about our services.
Our Cobb home recently completed a successful annual survey and received zero deficiencies. Our Wesley Woods home completed its annual survey in March and our Atlanta home completed its annual survey in October 2017. They also received zero deficiencies. “Our …read more
Our Cobb home recently completed a successful annual survey and received zero deficiencies. Our Wesley Woods home completed its annual survey in March and our Atlanta home completed its annual survey in October 2017. They also received zero deficiencies.
“Our staff is committed to providing the highest quality of care to the elders who stay with us, and these deficiency-free surveys are a reflection of that dedication,” said Deke Cateau, A.G. Rhodes’ Chief Executive Officer.
Each year, inspection teams are sent unannounced to nursing homes throughout the state for an annual survey of their operations and facilities. Each A.G. Rhodes home consistently achieves good survey results, which contribute to our impressive quality ratings.
July 23, 2018
Employee spotlights feature exceptional A.G. Rhodes employees doing exceptional work throughout the organization. Our latest spotlight features Joanna Moore, a CNA at our Cobb location. Joanna was this year’s recipient of the Rhodes Perdue CNA of the Year Award at …read more
Employee spotlights feature exceptional A.G. Rhodes employees doing exceptional work throughout the organization. Our latest spotlight features Joanna Moore, a CNA at our Cobb location. Joanna was this year’s recipient of the Rhodes Perdue CNA of the Year Award at Cobb.
“Joanna is one of the most caring and dependable care partners I’ve ever seen,” said Angela Daugherty, Administrator of A.G. Rhodes’ Cobb location. “In addition to having an impeccable work ethic, she genuinely loves what she does, and it shows through the compassion she has for our elders.”
Name, where you’re from, job title:
My name is Joanna Moore, I’m originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina and I’m a Certified Nursing Assistance (CNA).
What does your job entail?
My job requires me to offer basic care to elders at A.G. Rhodes, as well as assist them in the daily activities that they may have trouble with on their own, such as bathing, feeding and dressing. I also serve as a conduit between elders, nurses and doctors, and I record and communicate issues to medical staff here at A.G. Rhodes.
How long have you been working at A.G. Rhodes/working in the long-term care industry?
During my 20 years working in the health care field, I’m happy to say that 11 of those have been right here at A.G. Rhodes.
What made you get into this field?
My love for people and wanting to help
What’s the best part about your job?
I enjoy getting to work directly with elders and their families. This means I have the opportunity to make a difference in their lives in a very positive way.
What do you want people to know about your job?
I would like everyone to know that being a CNA is a fantastic way to start a more specialized nursing career should you choose to do so. You could study on to become a registered nurse (RN) or you could specialize in fields such as surgery or pediatric care. Being a CNA is a great way to become familiar with the health care world and decide where you want to go from there, or if you want to continue being a CNA.
What keeps you going?
Knowing I’m truly making a difference in the lives of elders, and this is something that they will be grateful for. I get many thank you cards and boxes of chocolates expressing appreciation from elders and their loved ones.
What does it take to work in this field?
Simply patience, love and compassion for the people I provide care for.
What do you do when you’re not working (hobbies, family, etc.)?
Spend time with my family. I also have a 96-year-old grandmother who stays with me who I provide care for and she is such a wonderful caring grandmother who we love dearly. I also like going on family vacations and going to the movies.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in getting into the long-term care industry?
I would like to say that being a CNA offers tremendous job stability because the demand will always be there and will continue to grow. Even with the changing picture of the health care industry, it is believed that the demand for CNAs is one of the highest.
Your daughter sometimes volunteers at A.G. Rhodes. What led to her interest in volunteering there?
It started by her asking questions about my job and what I do every day. After I explained it to her, she was more curious and wanted to come to my job and see what I do. After getting it approved for her to come one day when school was out on a holiday, she came and enjoyed every minute of it and the patients just fell in love with her. Now she asks me often when she can come back and volunteer.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
I chose to be a CNA because I was unsure about what I wanted to do in the health care field. In doing so, I did not have to go through the time and expense required to obtain a degree only to find out later that the field may not be what I really wanted to be in. For instance, I was unsure whether I wanted to work in geriatric care, pediatric care or psychological care. However, being a CNA has allowed me to test all of those fields before coming to a decision, which has allowed me to gain invaluable work experience. I’ve decided to stay a CNA, at least for now.
Are you concerned about your aging loved one living on their own this summer? We’re here to provide short- or long-term care they may need. Contact us today.read more
Are you concerned about your aging loved one living on their own this summer? We’re here to provide short- or long-term care they may need. Contact us today.
If you’re heading off on a multigenerational family trip this summer, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you hit the road or take to the skies. Older relatives often have unique needs and concerns when …read more
If you’re heading off on a multigenerational family trip this summer, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you hit the road or take to the skies. Older relatives often have unique needs and concerns when it comes to travel. Be sure to take the following precautionary measures so your trip goes smoothly.
Begin planning your vacation a few months in advance. Doing this will not only save you money on travel fare, but will also ensure any unnecessary issues or delays are avoided. Scout various airlines to find the flights with the shortest travel times and most straightforward routes.
If your family is traveling by car, plot out the quickest and least stressful routes. Research rush hour times in cities you’ll be traveling through so you can work around them. If you’re traveling through areas with notoriously unpredictable weather, make necessary arrangements for emergencies.1
Having such a meticulous plan may bring peace of mind to an older family member who may otherwise fear traveling because of medical concerns or issues with incontinence.
According to a 2017 Chicago Tribune article, researchers estimate that 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions. That number jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79. Odds are, your older family member is also on prescription medication.
When helping them pack for a long trip, ensure their prescriptions are up to date and that they will have more than enough doses to get them through the trip.2 Label the medications with dosages and times to avoid potentially harmful dosage lapses.
We shouldn’t assume that all older people are unable to keep up with their younger counterparts, but we also need to take their needs into consideration when traveling. Travel experts recommend choosing a destination that has easy access to:
They also recommend choosing a walkable destination where attractions are close together. If your relative is in a wheelchair, ensure you or another family member will be able to wheel them around easily.3
Many people ignore add-ons when traveling and don’t purchase travel insurance. Travel experts agree that the single most important thing seniors should consider before traveling – especially internationally – is whether their existing health insurance covers them.
Many people don’t realize that Medicare alone won’t cover patients when they travel outside the United States and sometimes doesn’t cover patients outside of their home network. It’s important to check a list of recommended medical providers before you leave. Travel insurance is an easy and affordable way to get medical coverage when your existing plan doesn’t offer it.
Whether you’re younger or older, traveling can be exhausting. When traveling with seniors, it is particularly important that you schedule time for relaxation after reaching your destination. Traveling long distances is especially taxing on the body, so experts recommend scheduling twice the normal amount of downtime to allow seniors to recuperate.
While sightseeing with seniors, you will need to schedule plenty of time to stop for bathroom breaks – about one break every two hours.4
Children will typically want to go somewhere with tons of activities for vacation, while seniors may want to go somewhere a little slower paced and relaxing. When traveling with a multigenerational group, it is important to find balance – something for everyone.
This type of arrangement will allow younger family members to explore the more active areas and give grandparents a chance to retire to quieter ones when they need a break.
When you’re unable to act as a caregiver, you can trust A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab to care for your senior family member. We provide varying levels of care, from short-term respite and recovery from illness care to long-term care and assistance with activities of daily living.
Contact us online today or by calling 877-918-6413 for more information.
Anita Jansen has been volunteering at A.G. Rhodes’ Atlanta location for more than two years leading the Crochet Club. She will be moving to the Netherlands soon, where she’s from. “Anita has been an amazing volunteer and friend to everyone …read more
Anita Jansen has been volunteering at A.G. Rhodes’ Atlanta location for more than two years leading the Crochet Club. She will be moving to the Netherlands soon, where she’s from.
“Anita has been an amazing volunteer and friend to everyone at the Atlanta home these past couple of years,” said Kim Beasley, Director of Volunteer Services and Community Engagement. “The impact of what she has brought to our elders in the Crochet Club will have a ripple effect for years to come. We will miss her dearly and wish her well.”
What inspired you to start volunteering at A.G. Rhodes? Had you volunteered in a nursing home/with the elderly before?
After my Mom passed away (Feb 2015) I missed being able to help my Dad more than just calling him every day, especially when he also was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I was looking for volunteer work with people and wanted to give the elderly some extra attention.
How did you get involved with the Crochet Club?
Looking for meaningful volunteer work, the nursing homes in my neighborhood did not have any opportunities. I Googled the internet and was lucky to find A.G. Rhodes. I wrote an email and had a very nice interview with Kim [the Director of Volunteer Services] and Vanissa [Director of Activities], discussing the possibilities. The idea of a Crochet Club was born.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering with the Crochet Club? Do you have any favorite projects?
In the 2+ years, we’ve done some projects together like crocheting afghans for an Atlanta homeless shelter, and we are now busy crocheting hats for the cancer patients in Emory hospital. No matter what we do, it is always good to create. We also made our own necklaces with beads and a little silver heart, which was fun for the ladies too.
How do you feel the Crochet Club benefits the residents?
All the ladies of the Club are enthusiastic about being together and having a nice afternoon. It is a joyful get together, sometimes singing a song, sometimes sharing a story. The important thing is that the ladies are part of a “special” group, helping each other and motivating or inspiring one another.
You have a unique perspective coming from another country/culture. Do you have any observations about your volunteer experiences here in the United States versus the Netherlands?
I admire the way people here in the U.S. are involved in volunteering. I learned that it is quite standard to form a group of volunteers with school, work or an organization. We do not know such thing in the Netherlands and therefore it is mostly retired people who are fit enough to do something extra, who choose to do volunteer work.
What have you learned from the ladies in the Crochet Club/what do you talk about while you’re working on your projects?
One participant is an artist with yarn. She makes beautiful afghans and even sent them to students/volunteers in NYC, who she met when they volunteered at A.G. Rhodes. From her, I learned how to use all the yarn and not waste any. And what knowledge she has about the world: whatever place I talk about, she knows something to tell about it.
Another participant, although not able to see much, is our star yarn-roller. She talks with pride about her family and being the oldest of 10 siblings. From her, I learned about how to really enjoy small things in life.
There is another participant who is such a special lady, who likes to crochet items for her (grand)children, and is still eager to learn. From her I learned how to stay strong.
One of our club members is still a good crocheter and even when not feeling so well, she tries to work on her project and is happy to talk a bit about her daughter, who she is so proud of. I learned from her to have faith.
One member likes to laugh. She is not always happy to roll the ball (make a ball of the yarn), but every week, she is present and enjoys the session. I learned from her to stay positive.
One of the participants passed away last year, and I oftentimes think about her, her silent personality but with many stories. I was able to read some chapters of her own book about her family (1930s), and learned from her how to be patient and just try.
I’ve learned from the activities staff members, who are always positive, interested and great to work with.
And I’ve learned from all the ladies who were participants of the Club, but no longer able to come.
We chat about a news item, when something special happens here in Atlanta or further away, and where we come from (our hometowns), about our families, and about journeys I make in the U.S. or foreign countries.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about your volunteer experience with A.G. Rhodes and the Crochet Club?
I felt at home from the first Tuesday I came to A.G. Rhodes. The atmosphere is very friendly, as are the staff and residents.
I will miss these special afternoons and remember the times we’ve spent, and will bring the experience back to my country.
Thank you all for having me. We will keep in touch and, as promised to the ladies, send a photo every now and then.
Take care of yourself and each other.
With love–and a big hug–from Anita.
July 10, 2018