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
The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation awarded A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab a three-year $50,000 grant to enhance the organization’s Music Therapy program. At A.G. Rhodes, a nonprofit organization operating three nursing homes in metro …read more
The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation awarded A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab a three-year $50,000 grant to enhance the organization’s Music Therapy program.
At A.G. Rhodes, a nonprofit organization operating three nursing homes in metro Atlanta, a Certified Music Therapist incorporates musical activities in group and individual settings to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of residents. Music therapy is especially beneficial for residents living with depression, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, deconditioning, or who have orthopedic challenges or strokes.
“We are so grateful to The Molly Blank Fund for this grant which will enable us to sustain and grow this wildly popular program,” said Deke Cateau, Chief Executive Officer at A.G. Rhodes. “Our elders not only benefit clinically from music therapy, but the program enhances their quality of life and brings them incredible joy.”
Common music therapy practices involve singing, moving to music, playing instruments or listening. These activities can:
In addition to the health benefits, music therapy sessions are fun, motivating and light-hearted, while encompassing the personal musical preferences of those who participate.
For more information about A.G. Rhodes’ Music Therapy program, visit www.agrhodes.org/musictherapy.
About A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab:
A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab is a nonprofit organization providing therapy and rehabilitation services, short-term recovery and long-term care at three metro Atlanta locations in Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb counties. The mission of A.G. Rhodes is to provide expert and compassionate rehabilitation therapy and residential care to seniors in metro Atlanta. As one of Atlanta’s oldest nonprofits and most trusted leaders in senior care, A.G. Rhodes has set the standard for serving an aging community since 1904. For more information, visit www.agrhodes.org.
About The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation:
The Molly Blank Fund was established after Mrs. Blank’s passing in 2015 at the age of 99. The fund supports causes and organizations in which Mrs. Blank believed. For more information, visit www.blankfoundation.org.
June 27, 2018
Bone Healthy Foods for Seniors from A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab As we age, it’s increasingly important we take care of our bodies and maintain strong, healthy bones. One of the easier ways to maintain optimal bone health is by …read more
As we age, it’s increasingly important we take care of our bodies and maintain strong, healthy bones. One of the easier ways to maintain optimal bone health is by eating more foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals – most notably, calcium, vitamins D, C, K and A, magnesium and potassium. Fortifying your diet with nutrient-rich foods can reduce the risk of bone thinning commonly experienced by seniors, and subsequently prevent fractures stemming from falls.
Salmon and tuna are excellent sources of calcium-absorbing vitamin D. The Mayo Clinic recommends 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D for people under 70 and 800 for people over 70. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (NIHODS), three ounces of canned tuna contains more than 150 IUs per serving, while three ounces of cooked salmon has nearly 450 IUs. Sardines are also high in calcium – a three-ounce serving provides 30 percent of the daily value.
Dairy products are known for being rich in bone-supporting calcium and vitamin D. Yogurt, milk and cheese have some of the highest quantities of bone-healthy vitamins and minerals – an eight-ounce serving of any of the aforementioned products contains at least 30 percent of the daily value of calcium. Eight ounces of plain, low fat yogurt contains 42 percent of the daily value of calcium and more than 400 IUs of vitamin D, according to the NIHODS.
Leafy greens like spinach, arugula and collard greens, and vegetables like broccoli, kale and Chinese cabbage are lesser-known calcium suppliers, but they do carry modest amounts. One cup of cooked spinach, for example, has 240 mg of calcium and one cup of raw arugula has 125 mg, according to the University of California San Francisco. For context, the NIHODS recommends 1,000 mg for men and 1,200 mg for women over 50 each day.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests a well-balanced meal featuring essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and magnesium – all found in grapefruits, strawberries, oranges, tomatoes and pineapples – can be nearly as beneficial for maintaining strong bones as high amounts of calcium and vitamin D. If you’re a fan of orange juice, drink up – one cup has 34 percent of the suggested daily value of vitamin D, according to the NIHODS.
Starting your day with a bowl of “fortified” cereal – which is a cereal with added vitamins and minerals – and milk is one of the best ways to provide yourself with ample amounts of vitamin D and calcium. Fortified cereals like Cheerios, Wheaties, Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Special K are excellent sources of vitamin D, folic acid, iron and calcium.
Eating more of these tasty foods is a superb way to build healthier, stronger bones. Sometimes, though, healthy eating isn’t enough. When you need a higher level of health care, A.G. Rhodes is here to help. Our staff have been providing the Atlanta area with attentive and trustworthy senior care for more than 100 years. In addition, we also offer short-term recovery care for people who are recovering from surgery or a broken bone. Call 877-918-6413 or visit our website for more information.
Most of us expect that older individuals will stumble and fall every now and again. Unsteadiness seems to come with the territory of growing older, and 30 percent of adults over 65 report feelings of dizziness and vertigo.1 But are …read more
Most of us expect that older individuals will stumble and fall every now and again. Unsteadiness seems to come with the territory of growing older, and 30 percent of adults over 65 report feelings of dizziness and vertigo.1 But are we all destined to feel off-kilter in our golden years?
While balance problems are much more common in seniors than in children or younger adults, it is not necessarily “normal” to lose balance and fall later in life. Dizziness and vertigo may indicate an underlying health condition.
The human body balances itself using a complex system. If just one part of the system is impaired, you may feel okay, but as more and more parts break down, your body becomes disoriented by its own cues. To feel steady and grounded, you must have function in your:
The vestibular system, or inner ear, constantly monitors how the head and body are positioned. Three tubes called the semicircular canals contain fluid to help you balance. When your head tilts or your body moves, the fluid shifts, moving hair follicles that send signals to your brain through the connected nerves. If the vestibular system is functioning as it should, you feel steady, but if it’s activated while you’re sitting or standing still, dizziness and vertigo can ensue.
The most common vestibular disorder in older adults is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). It is caused by the formation of small calcium carbonate crystals called otoconia, or “ear rocks.” These rocks can displace the inner ear fluid or stimulate nerves when you make simple motions, such as looking up or getting out of bed, causing the room to feel like it’s spinning. Fortunately, BPPV can often be corrected with a physical maneuver that coaxes the crystals back into an inner ear chamber where they won’t cause vertigo.
It is no secret that vision deteriorates with age. In some cases, all that’s required is a simple change in the strength of a prescription. However, vision issues can also be caused by more serious problems, such as:
Without the appropriate visual stimuli, your body cannot understand your movements correctly. This is especially true if you sense movement with your feet and inner ear that does not match up with what you see.
Have you ever tripped because your foot or leg went numb after sitting on it wrong? Chances are, you couldn’t sense the ground underfoot and didn’t know how much pressure to put down.
If the sensation in your feet, legs, torso and spine is permanently weakened, you can develop more serious, long-lasting balance issues. Some conditions that limit your body’s ability to sense your position include:
Treating the issue directly may help you regain balance. You may also want to wear well-fitted shoes that won’t catch easily on uneven surfaces.
Muscles atrophy and joints wear down as you get older. This makes it harder to support your own weight without experiencing pain or having your muscles “give out.” In many cases, strengthening exercises and physical therapy can help restore the function of your joints and muscles so you feel more confident when performing physical activities.
Neurological disorders – Seniors have an increased risk of neurological conditions that can affect all types of motor function, including balance. Examples include Parkinson’s disease, cervical spondylosis, brain stem stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Medication – Many common medications come with side effects of dizziness and nausea. Discuss switching to a different medication with your doctor if balance is a concern.
Cardiovascular problems – Heart disease or abnormally low or high blood pressure can cause dizziness.
Blood sugar – Low or high blood sugar, drastic changes in blood sugar and diabetes can all contribute to balance issues.
Feeling off-balance can be frightening if you live alone. Falls at any age can be serious, but they are especially dangerous for seniors. At A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab, our care teams work with you to redevelop the strength you need to move about life more confidently. We have short-term and long-term care options, depending on your concerns, and both groups have access to our therapy and rehabilitation programs.
Between all our locations, we offer specialized gyms for tracking and improving your balance, an anti-gravity treadmill for recuperation from injuries and a therapy pool for rebuilding muscle through low-impact exercises. Contact us today at 877-918-6413 to learn more or schedule your tour.
Employee spotlights feature exceptional A.G. Rhodes staff members who are doing great work throughout the organization. June’s spotlight features Kim Greene, a CNA who has worked at A.G. Rhodes’ Atlanta location for more than seven years. Kim was Atlanta’s recent …read more
Employee spotlights feature exceptional A.G. Rhodes staff members who are doing great work throughout the organization. June’s spotlight features Kim Greene, a CNA who has worked at A.G. Rhodes’ Atlanta location for more than seven years. Kim was Atlanta’s recent recipient of the Rhodes Perdue CNA of the Year Award.
When asked why Kim was chosen for this month’s employee spotlight, Administrator Kristie Davis said, “Kim is a social butterfly and she’s loved by everyone. She’s always willing to help out and she’s got a way of putting a smile on elders’ and employees’ faces.”
Kim Greene, CNA
From: Atlanta, Georgia
What does your job entail?
While there are many physical tasks, the most important part of my job is to be patient and understanding. You have to listen and take things slow with the residents.
How long have you been working at A.G. Rhodes/working in the long-term care industry?
I’ve been at A.G. Rhodes at least seven years, and in long-term care since 1994 or 1995.
What made you get into this field?
My great-grandmother who raised me—and is 100 years old now—encouraged me to go to job corps in Brunswick, Georgia to learn a trade. I eventually took the nursing assistant course. I ended up connecting with the residents, and it’s just in me. I’m thankful for this career.
What’s the best part about your job?
I get to serve different areas of the building and I get to know everyone. So many people don’t have a job that they can say they like, but I like coming to work. I also like that I get to eat here, I get entertainment, and I get to chill with these people.
What do you want others to know about your job?
To do this job, you have to come with love and with patience. Some people need extra attention and they want to be able to talk to someone and tell them what’s going on.
A few years ago there was a resident who asked me for my help, and I was in a rush to do something else, but I slowed down and helped him. He was so grateful. He passed away the next day and I’m so glad I took the time to help him.
What keeps you going?
What keeps me going is the Lord. I pray about the job, I pray about the people. I’m also thankful to work with the people I work with.
It’s the best thing when people say thank you, and when others appreciate what I do.
What does it take to work in this field?
Be compassionate and understanding. Put yourself in their shoes. Understand what they want, and meet them where they are. Listen to them—you’ll learn a lot.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I’m going to school for nursing at Georgia Piedmont. I’m also an entrepreneur and I sell movies, music and purses.
Do you have advice for someone wanting to get into this field?
My great-grandmother told me, “You get more with sugar than salt,” and “Treat people how you want to be treated.” It’s especially important in this job—care about what you’re doing.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
I’m just thankful to the Lord.