Honoring 11+ million unsung heroes: Alzheimer’s caregivers
About 3.3% of the U.S. population – over 11 million people – currently serve as volunteer,
unpaid caregivers for 6.5 million loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease. In Colorado alone, we have more than 159,000 unpaid caregivers assisting over 76,000 people with Alzheimer’s.
November is a special month to honor this unique, dedicated group of people. Originally
designated as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in
1983, the event later was expanded by President Bill Clinton to honor our nation’s caregivers:
National Family Caregivers Month.
To be clear, Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease that takes a toll not just on those living with it, but
their volunteer caregivers and our society as a whole. For example:
* The average voluntary caregiver provides over 27 hours of care per week.
* Across the U.S. in 2021, volunteer caregivers provided about 16 billion hours of unpaid care. At a
value of $16.98/hour, that total ($271.6 billion) is more than 14 times McDonald’s revenue in
2020 ($19.2 billion).
* In Colorado in 2021, 159,000 volunteer caregivers provided 184 million hours of unpaid
care valued at $3.7 billion.
Beyond their time, caregivers make direct financial contributions. On average in 2021,
dementia caregivers reported spending $12,388 each for medical, personal care and household
expenses for the person with dementia.
The disease also takes a personal toll: a Stanford University study reported that caregivers have
a 63% higher mortality rate than non-caregivers, and 40% of Alzheimer’s caregivers die from
stress-related disorders before the person for whom they are caring.
There is help for these heroic caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a wide range of
educational programs and services – all at no charge – for caregivers of persons living with
To learn more, go to www.alz.org or call the Association’s free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.
Addiction In The Elderly
It's not uncommon to develop an addiction later in life, but the health effects of substance abuse in those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than those in younger users.
Substance abuse among the elderly (adults over the age of 60), particularly of alcohol and prescription drugs, is one of the fastest-growing health problems in the United States.
Addiction among people 65 and up is often underestimated and under-diagnosed, which can prevent them from getting the help they need.
Alcohol and prescription drug abuse affects up to 17% of adults over the age of 60 per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Due to insufficient knowledge, limited research data, and hurried office visits, health care providers often overlook signs of substance abuse among the elderly. This is made worse by the fact that the elderly often have medical or behavioral disorders that mimic symptoms of substance abuse, such as depression, diabetes, or dementia.
According to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, substance abuse among senior citizens can be classified into two general forms: the “hardy survivor,” or those who have been abusing substances for many years and have reached 65, and the “late onset” group, which is those who form addictions later in life. Regardless of how old you are or when your addiction started, there are treatment options available to help you get back on a healthy path.
Causes Of Addiction In The Elderly
There are several things that could contribute to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be health-related issues or life-changing events that take an emotional toll. These events may provoke substance-abusing behavior that can result in a full-scale addiction.
Potential triggers or causes for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly include:
The Dangers Of Substance Abuse In The Elderly
Drug or alcohol abuse among the elderly is particularly dangerous because senior citizens are more susceptible to the deteriorating effects of these substances. Individuals over 65 have a decreased ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol along with an increased brain sensitivity to them. This makes it dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn’t addicted.
Benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety, pain, or insomnia, are some of the most dangerous prescription drugs for seniors. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. The rate of senior citizens addicted to Benzos has increased every year.
Challenges In Identifying Addiction In The ElderlyAlcohol or drug abuse may actually mimic symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders. This makes it easy for doctors who encounter an older patient to chalk up declining mental or physical health to old age.
Not long ago, a medical colleague referred a 67-year-old woman to me with mild depression, weakness, and complaints of short-term memory loss. Her physician told her there was no clear medical explanation for her symptoms, given that her physical exam, exhaustive lab tests, and brain M.R.I. were all normal… The problem, I soon discovered, was that her alcohol consumption had tripled since the death of her husband a year earlier. She did disclose to her internist that she drank but minimized the amount. She had turned to alcohol, self-medicating her grief, but it only worsened her mood and impaired her memory, typical of alcohol’s effects on the brain.
- Richard A. Friedman, M.D., NYTimes.com
Symptoms Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
As people get older, their mental health, physical health, and personal relationships may start to deteriorate. Although addiction may be more difficult to recognize in this demographic, it’s important to pay attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one displays.
Some signs of drug abuse include:
Once an addiction is identified, it is critical to seek out a treatment center that has specific experience working with seniors facing addiction.
You should look for programs that specialize in this type of addiction and also offer case management services, as individuals over 65 typically lack the social support required throughout recovery. These case management services will provide the elderly with access to medical, psychiatric, and social resources to allow for a healthy lifestyle to continue after treatment.
Per the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) consensus panel, the following are recommended as effective treatment approaches for older adults in substance abuse treatment:
Get Help Today
The alarming rate at which individuals 65 years of age and older are developing addictions to various substances is certainly reason for concern and something that should not be ignored by medical professionals, caretakers, or family members. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction issues later in life and needs help finding a treatment program, contact a treatment provider today.
Benefits of Camping With a Pet Dog
It would be nice to go leave the busy city life every once in a while and go on a camping trip, to breathe in fresh air, enjoy nature's surroundings and go back to the basics.
When campers take their dog along on the trip, they will be able to loosen up and enjoy each other's company with no distractions, making it a fun way to make their bond stronger.
In case they happen to find themselves in the middle of nowhere as they head out with their tent to camp out underneath the stars, at least they will have peace of mind knowing that their dog is tucked up beside them.
Actually, there are health benefits when camping with a pet dog.
Fresh, natural air increases serotonin levels.
Spending some time outdoors like near the seaside or trees lets the body breathe in more oxygen, giving a camper and his pet a big break from the pollution and other chemicals experienced daily in the city. Also, this makes the camper feel happy since this releases serotonin inside the brain.
The serotonin hormone has an effect on different things in our body, including a person's mood, behavior, digestion and sleep, to name a few.
Sunshine boosts melatonin
When people are camping out in a place that is warm and sunny, they can benefit from the abundance of sunshine received. It helps even out the body's melatonin. This chemical affects the mood and sleeping patterns in a positive way when people have the right levels. Melatonin can also restore the dog's body rhythms, reproductive cycles and sleep patterns plus it can be given to help dogs that suffer from anxiety and phobias.
Reduce stress in a person and his dog
Camping is an effective way to de-stress humans and dogs. During camping trips, people can turn off their phone and other gadgets to relax, exercise, explore, read a book and do all sorts of things that they don't have time for when attending to their daily routine. Stress has a negative effect on the minds and bodies. Being more relaxed with their dogs will make their furry friends more relaxed as well.
When they bring along their dog on a camping trip, the more exercise they get since their pet will motivate them to get up and about, whether they are making fire to roast marshmallows or heading out to explore the sights with their best friend. Camping involves more exercises outdoors than spending the day in an office so it will benefit a camper and his dog alike.
Since the camping site is located outdoors, where there is fresh air and trees or water, campers can definitely get a good night sleep with all the relaxation experienced. It can make anyone fall into a deep slumber, which incidentally also offers a load of health benefits.
Interested in purchasing a quality outdoor dog tent? Come and visit our online store today! That's where you can also find awesome store display tents for sale!
For info on RVing in Colorado, Click Here
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karina_Popa/1432444
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10391591
Do you find yourself holding on to things just in case you need them? We don’t let go because we might need something in some far-off, nonexistent and probably hypothetical future. We keep too much stuff in the very remote chance that we might need something for trips, vacations or everyday use!
We don't need to hold on to these possessions for that "just in case" moment! We rarely use our just-in-case items—they sit there, take up space, get in the way, and weigh us down. Most of the time they aren’t items we need at all.
The truth of the matter is that when we remove the "just-in-case" items from our lives, we get them out of the way and free up the space they consume. And, that is a very liberating feeling!
We are sharing a technique that is the "brain child" of Joshua & Ryan, "The Minimalists"! They "practice what they preach" and have found a sense of freedom by not having lots of "just-in-case possessions. The technique is called: that 20/20 Rule.
They got rid of or didn't pack anything "just in case". If you can replace an item for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes don't worry about it. This results in less "things" in your possession on a daily basis and less to pack when traveling.
Josh & Ryan found this hypothesis has become a theory that has held true almost all of the time. They rarely have had to replace a just-in-case item, and they have never had to pay more than $20 or have gone more than 20 minutes out of their way to replace the item. This theory usually works 99% of the time for 99% of all items and 99% of all people—including you.
They haven’t missed the hundreds of just-in-case items they've gotten rid of, and they didn’t need to replace most of them.
Getting rid of these items will clear your mind, free up your space, and will take the weight off your shoulders.
What do you consider a "just in case" item? What are you holding on to "just in case"?
You will find more valuable information in their book: Essential
We are sharing information from a website for seniors and retirees that they can go to when they need help.
The "help subjects" include the following:
There are resources listed from all 50 states! If you live in Colorado but have parents, friends or other relatives in other states, this is a great resource.
Articles on their blog include:
Best Workouts for Seniors
Best Gift Ideas for Senior Women Over 50
Best Gift Ideas for Senior Men Over 50
Best Online Meal Services for Seniors
Seniors in Education
Grants for Grandparents
You will find all the above info & more here: https://grantsforseniors.org/
A Helping Hand!
Would you like to do something today or this evening besides watching TV? There are plenty of options for all budgets and situations. You might spend a small amount of time or choose an activity that is very time consuming.
We have also included "Tips for Getting Away from the TV Habit" in case you need a few ways to remind yourself of your new plan!
Here's your list of "Things to do Instead of Watching TV"
1. Read a Book
2. Write Something
3. Go for an Evening Walk
4. Get Fit
5. Create Art
6. Make an Elaborate Dinner
7. Learn a New Skill or Language
8. Spend Quality Time with Your Family
9. Call a Friend
10. Deal with Those Annoying Chores
11. Spruce Up or Redecorate a Room in Your House
12. Expand Your Horizons
13. Join a Club
14. Make Plans for the Future
15. Work Towards Your Goals
You will find an explanation for each of the above items as well as "Tips for Getting Away from the TV Habit" here...
Let's hear it for Trivia!
Here's a free trivia quiz website that provides free trivia quizzes on a multitude of subjects.
It has a variety of trivia games for adults as well as kids. Topics covered include U.S. history, geography, Harry Potter, Disney films, science, sports, holidays general knowledge, Bible trivia, movies, music and more!
All of the free trivia quizzes are in multiple choice format, so even if you don’t know the answer, you’ve still got a chance to guess correctly! Have fun and let us know what your favorite category is!
Here's the link:
Let's hear it for IQ Tests!
You can take quick, free IQ tests that provide instant results and will also show you where your score sits compared to the full spectrum of IQ ranges.
Here's the link:
So many people, especially those Over 50, are looking for ways to assure better sleep!
These ten tips are simple and can be easily incorporated into your day and evening routines.
Getting enough sleep is important because it helps you feel better during the day. Sleep also plays a critical role in maintaining your good health. according to The Sleep Council.
You need to “power down” your brain if you’re going to sleep well. Meditation is a great way to give your brain a break. Label your bedroom as a worry-free zone so you can sleep soundly.
Keep everything that relates to work or stress in a separate room which is physically separated from where you sleep. That means your phone, TV, paperwork, bills, etc., will be out of sight and, hopefully, out of mind!
Did you know that we spend 33% of our lives asleep? Therefore, improving sleep means improving 1/3 of your life!
You will find additional information and resources at the bottom of this page!
Additional resources for better sleep:
Sleep Tips for Older Adults
17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night
Better Sleep is at Your Fingertips!
Who should have a bucket list?
Bucket lists are a popular topic among all age groups, but especially those in their 50’s, 60’s and beyond. There was even a popular movie titled The Bucket List, released in 2007, featuring seasoned actors Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman – who played two men with terminal illnesses – who wanted to cross items off their own bucket lists before they died.
Of course, you don’t need an illness to start a bucket list. Better to begin long before your own mortality is staring you in the face. Here are some reasons you might or might not want to start and pursue you own bucket list.
Bucket List Pros:
Bucket List Cons:
There is a Common Misperception That Bucket lists are Only for Big Items
There is a common misperception that bucket lists are only for big items, but they are really for whatever you find meaningful. Here are the types of things that can go on bucket lists:
If you are looking for idea starters, try this article from developgoodhabits.com. They not only give you 553 potential bucket list items but also the following great advice for building your own list: “As you go through this list, be sure to write down the items that resonate with your “personal why.” Then add the ideas that sound like a great challenge. Then the stuff that’s fun. Then the ideas that you can share with your significant other. And finally, the ideas that will help with your self-improvement efforts.”
Remember that the bucket list is a positive endeavor – what you intend to do – and not about what you aren’t going to do. Not doing cool stuff is a common deathbed regret. And guess what my friend – you get to define what you consider cool stuff! This is a great privilege but can be wasted if you fail to write out and go make the items on your bucket list happen. What better time to start than right now? .
For more adventures in retirement...Click Here
The Cumbres and Toltec Railroad is a National Historic Landmark. It's a 64-mile day trip that you will thoroughly enjoy and never forget. The narrow-gauge heritage railroad operates between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico. It crosses the borders of Colorado and New Mexico 11 times as it chugs its way up and over the 10,015′ high Cumbres Pass. You can depart from Antonito, Colorado or Chama, New Mexico for a steam train ride of a lifetime!
The Cumbres & Toltec goes where no automobile can go. Most of the route is through “off-the-grid” wilderness, so you’ll experience views into canyons and over ridges that can’t be seen in any other way.
The train travels at a top speed of 12 miles an hour, and that’s the beauty of it!
You won’t miss the aspen groves, the wildflowers, the steep mountain canyons, or the plentiful wildlife.
The steam engine is coal fired and carries you through steep mountain canyons, high desert, and lush meadows as you zig zag between the Colorado and New Mexico borders. There is, indeed, spectacular and rare Western scenery which can only be viewed from the train's unique route.
The Cumbres and Toltec Railroad has steamed through history and across the Rocky Mountains since 1880, when first tracks were laid across Cumbres Pass. This unique experience will take you back in time and off of the grid so you can experience the sounds, steam and steel of bygone years. Your daily grind can’t follow you into the great, unspoiled West.
Originally part of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad's narrow-gauge network, the line has been jointly owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico since 1970.
In 1988, a nonprofit organization called the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was established to preserve the history of the railroad and help maintain infrastructure and rolling stock. The Friends of the C&TSRR also participates in various education programs and provides the railroad guides, known as docents, who inform passengers about historical aspects of the railroad as well as locations of interest.
(Image Courtesy of Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad)
A recent honor:
USA Today - "Best Train Ride in America”
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad ranks among the most authentic steam-operated railroads still in existence. Passengers aboard this National Historic Landmark travel along a track laid in 1880 between Chama, N.M. and Antonito, Colo. Source...
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