Jill Martinez, director of community relations for CarePartners Living, discusses fall prevention and health.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. Welcome back everyone to answers for elder radio on this glorious spring weekend and we have a glorious lady with us from Care Partners Living. Are Wonderful Jill Martinez, who is the director of community relations for care partners living. And you know what’s great about jail is? It’s that she has been on our show before and we’re really glad you’re sitting in the Kelly Smith’s chair, who’s usually with us, and so, Jill, it’s nice to have you with us as well. So we talked a little bit in our last segment just about springtime and I know that springtime is is a time of the year when, you know, everybody now wants to get outside, and we talked about it. But you know, winter has you know has happened and in many cases, if mom or death there still living at home. You know there maybe maybe moss on the on the patio, there may be overgrown, you know, vines or weeds or things like that that need to be handled. All these different things in you know, the yard probably needs to me mode and Yardwig needs to be picked up, but also indoors. You know, if you’ve been inside, you know make sure that there’s all kinds of safety factors that may have happened. And also, I’m sure a lot of our seniors, because they’ve been alone so long and isolated, we as adult children, may not have noticed about some little things that may be happening with them that we want to make sure that we are mindful of. And one of the things that I think that, Jill, you can talk a little bit about is, you know, you’re saying seniors probably come to you on, you know what, the way you like them to, before they need to actually go into assist the living, but they want to explore their options, they want to make sure that what they’re going to be you know what’s going to happen when I get there. But you’re also seeing in when they’re pretty much independent at that point, aren’t you correct? Yeah, so how do you? I guess the question that I have, obviously, is there’s a lot of times when people come in and they haven’t been to for you, it’s because they’ve had an accident, they fall in, they probably have had the mobility issues, maybe dementias started to you know, escalate the family members come in, but a lot of times those kind of things can be prevented with a little bit of prevention of Front. And this is the time of year for a lot of us that we kind of forget about little things that can happen in the house. And one of the things I know is like over ninety percent, I think, is the last statistic that I read and I even forget where it came from, so I’m sorry I’m quoting. I’m quoting something that I don’t remember the source, but about ninety percent of senior falls happened in the home, yes, and it happened in the bathroom, but they also can happen outside. And one of the things that I remember just in my tenure of helping seniors and was I got a call from a family, not to but about two years ago, whose mother had fallen in her garden. She’s to go out to this little garden every day with her you know who’s a little jaunt out there. She walked with a cane or Walker, I don’t remember that. It was some place in the Midwest and as they were she walked, she walked in these little pavers that was in set into the grass. So you know you’re talking about an uneven ground and she’s walking because the paver is, you know, deep set where the grass comes up and then another tape paver is you’re going through. And but the either her cane or the Walker, I forget, which got caught on a piece of overground of Ivy as she was walking and when she went to lift it up or to move it, she lost her balance and be course the thing didn’t go with her and she fell over and fell down in the middle of the garden, in the backyard. She laid there for over two hours, could not get up and it was just by a sloop that a meter reader came around the back of the house to read the meter, the gas meter, and saw her and was able to help her. Had he not come there, you know, we don’t know how long she would have laid there because she lived alone and you know. So I think about things like that and I think, you know, there are like home monitoring services, but a lot of them that cover outside. There are different types of things, but if it’s the springtime season and if you are thinking about your loved one, there’s certainly an outdoor space that you have to consider, to look at, and we’ve talked a lot about like that on the show. Jill, what are you finding it’s most common with with seeing yours in when they fall? Well, in terms of falls outside, I would agree with you it’s usually on an UNAIDEN type of surface. When you’re considering your loved one going outside, you’re going to want to make sure the patio area or the area orders paid lent doesn’t have a big raised cracks in the payment paid. Then everything needs to be smooth. You want to minimize having any rugs out there that they could trip on. You would also want to make sure if they need grab bars accessible getting in and out of their home and yes, so hand rails, grab bars. The more you know that you’re loved doing can have surrounding them the better. Just helps them get up and down stairs. You know, of course, wanting to minimize stairs. That’s another you know situation, whether you need to build the more of a wheelchair accessible ramp, those kinds of things. But then there’s also the issue of once they’re outside, if they decide to bend down and pick up a weed or a plant, they could fall over doing that as well. And so I am a firm believer of raised garden beds. That basically yeah, so the people don’t have to bend down solow which then makes them tip over and fall all the time. On facebook market places people that are making those and they’re very reasonably priced. I just was looking at some for my yard and it was like I can get like a ten foot by to foot high raised bed for about a hundred and twenty dollars, which is not Pat Yep there and then the resident can just stand snap will work with them or even gardening pots. They can still sit in the chair and work the dirt and that kind of thing. But also looking at what are the other underlying issues why they might be falling outside. It could be because of something that’s happening on the inside, which one a huge issue in the warmer weather is hydration issues, huge issue. Thank you for bringing that up. Yes, a lot of residents do not get, or people in their homes do not get near enough water and though just having that around them at all times, it’s going to help them stay alert, feel fresher minimize the soul risks. But the other thing to look at a big thing in terms of what residents and people in their homes have had to deal with the past here is not having those visitors come in. So we have sometimes what’s called a failure to drive. Where we’re people just aren’t getting enough nutrition intake. Yeah, so we have folks that come to us like that. No major health issues, but just not getting the nutrition they need. Another thing to look at now that you know you’re able to go see your loved one more often, what’s going on? Are the getting the the proper calories they need? That affects their overall health. Well, I think you bring up a lot of really valid points. That a lot of adult children, they haven’t been inside their parents home for a while, and one of the things that certainly is a is a huge indicator of how they’re doing is to look at their refrigerator. I think I remember my mother before we moved her into a living she had all these cottage cheese containers. Why, she did buy Tucker ware, but again, she was from the Depression era, you know, so any like container that was cottage cheese or why, he saved all of those things and but she take save like one teetspoon or tablespoon of food that was left and then it would sit there like a science project forever. You know so. And I remember cleaning out her refrigerator when we moved her out and I bet I pulled out three thousand and forty of these little tiny little yogurt containers of spoiled, foot rotten food, you know, and I didn’t pay that much attention to it at the time before until I actually discovered it when we were moving her. And this is a living right, you’re absolutely right, right, I think just really looking at what’s what’s the underline issue of why, maybe you know your you have seen a change in your loved one or there’s something underlying there that’s going on, and trying to find out what what that issue might be. And interested is a biggie. hydrations a huge issue. And then, just as we’ve talked about making sure everything is safe outside to prevent and what, do you have any kids on how to get seniors who are living at home alone, how to get them to drink more water? I mean, do you have any ideas, are ways than which you do that? I mean some people have just, you know, always made sure there’s a glass of water right and no matter where they’re sitting, always a picture of water. I mean if you don’t have a family member going in, course it’s not always going to be ice cold water, but if you’re, if you’re coming into your your loved ones home, just making sure there’s always a nice cold picture of water or cold people sitting next to them with a cup and a Straw next to their chair in front of the TV. If you know they’re going to be going outside, set one they’re just having water always accessible close to them is the main thing that I have observed. You know, seems to work well for people right right then, you know, just to our lessoners again, I want to emphasize that hydration is so important, not only for mobility and making sure that hydristion and balance and things like that, but I think it really can contribute lack higration can also contribute to escalating symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s and things like that. So certainly I know that this is really an important thing. One of the things I know that my mom used to do for herself, which I was I learned from her, is she would fill up a big water bottle in the morning and her job was to drink it by the end of the day, and it was like I think it was like a quarter who was a big one, but she just carried it with her all the time, right, and that was helpful. I don’t know if I would show that, but that’s what how she did it and I thought that was really hate. Whatever works right. My mom did the same. She would get a water bottle, put ice in it and then he put it on her walker tray and just had that with her, and so that was her reminder that she yeah, that’s good. So when you everyone, Jill will be right back. We’re going to talk a little bit about the cottages and Alzheimer’s and Care Partners Commitment. She’s all us about ours who have loved ones with memory challenges, and we’ll be right bast by after day. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners livingcom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.