Shawn Weiss is an expert in the areas of geriatrics, fall prevention, cognitive decline, healthy living, home health, and caregiver training. In this segment, Shawn talks about why summer safety is so important for our senior loved ones, why older adults are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and provides some ways our seniors can stay safe and healthy during the summer months.
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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.
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And we are here with a very important hour this this week and because we have a branded guest and someone that I have been very connected to for like over ten years now, which is absolutely incredible, and she’s one of my favorite people and she’s in as the state of Ohio, and that’s one of the great things about us being on a national podcast network is that we get to bring to you some of our NAST experts that are so incredible in what they do. And today we have Dr Shawn Wife, who is a license physical therapist and founder of the Senior Health and wellness group. And you know, I don’t think we’ve ever really talked much about senior health and wellness and we’ve got some really powerful topics for you this hour, including at the end of this hour we’re going to give you kind of an update on the Delta, you know, variant of Covid and where we’re at with that. And so, without further review, Sewan, welcome to answers for elder’s radio. So so glad you’re here. Oh, thank you. They and it’s great talking with you. I’m so excited to be able to talk with you for the next hour. Well, we’re happy not only that you’re going to be part of our hour, but you’re going to be one of our absolute specialists on the website and of course you’re going to be reachable on all of our podcast platforms across the country and we’re going to talk about different topics today, Sean, and I am so thrilled that we’re going to be talking about some of these, you know, issues that so many families are dealing with and, of course, you know, for you. Just before we start, would you give us a little bit of background of what does a senior wellness, you know, helping wellness network do? Well, you know, I’ve been in homecare agency ownership phase for about eighteen years now. I have also been a practicing physical therapist for twenty three years and during that whole time, spanning caring for elderly, older adults and all different set of sectors and these processes and what I started seeing your help Alta streep in two thousand and nineteen. It was really out of the need for more education for families, training for caregivers that you know, we have seen in the homehelth field. It’s just a real necessity and it continues to be so. This allows me to have a platform where I can you take our expertise and expertise of from colleagues and make sure that we are providing quality information to older adults, to the families of older adults and to the caregivers of older to absolutely and you know, Sean, it’s interesting that you say that, because how many times do families think, families take all mom or dad or just fine, but there’s so home that there might be a certain factors that they don’t even realize might be going on in a home. And it doesn’t mean mom and dad can still live at home independently, because that’s something obviously we all want to have happened as long as possible. But there’s otter, you know, red flags in the homes that if these things were were you know, a family was aware or the senior was aware, we could prevent accidents from happening and I know that for the first segment today I would love to talk to you about. You know, what does summer this the season of summer. What does that actually why is that so important? Because obviously it’s warm or whether we don’t have ice, but there’s other factors on their right exactly. And we hear a lot about winter safety, you know, campaigns that are happening everywheer, but right fine, summer safety is neglected and I think this summer is so important, if any summer, to discuss summer safety with our seniors. And so much so. Yeah, I mean you deal with temperature extreme hydration in the winter also, but when the temperatures give above eighty degrees, we really have to start being cheerful, because our older adults are so much more susceptible to be related illnesses. And it’s an injuries really, and because of the summer, you know, it’s kind of this summer. We’re taking it as an the Tammas an anomaly. Over the last year and a half. What have we dealt with? And we have some older adults now that maybe venturing out and have had a significant period of isolation, decrease activity levels, you know, to their overall medical stability might not be what it should be. And the couple that with the heat and extreme conditions. You know, it really creates an environment where there’s a high risk. Well, and I also think too, that summer brings about exhaustion more quickly with the senior because they might be hanging with their family reunion or, you know, at their son or daughter’s house and all of a sudden they get very tired quickly. Due to a lot of these doctors and you know, are the hydrating process, you know, appropriately are ways. How are ways that we need to and not to mention fun damage. It can be very difficult or seen your skin, and so that’s even another part of it is that, you know, yeah, that’s what we’ve seen. And you know, when you when you take an older adult and you put him in these situations, you know you’re looking at a few different factors really. You know, as we age, our bodies do not regulate heat in the same way. You know older adults have much more difficulty with that because we don’t older. I say we. I hit fifty and somehow I’m going to pray, I just turned sixty five. I five and older. Okay, so you’re included to the ASS and I see my crazy and I go I feel these I do feel these things, as of course you do, generally speaking. Sixty five and older, you know, our bodies do not we don’t sweat as often as or as efficiently as a younger adult. So and we know that what you sweating is the number one way our body regulates heat. So that’s one concern. The second concern would be as we age, our bodies store fat differently as well, and when we store fat differently, that also affects temperature regulation and heat regulation. And then you also couple that with the fact that older adults tend to take more medications and some of those medications call alls an increase in stivity to the sun. So the fact that older Deltin Journal just do not regulate their body feet as well as a younger adult makes them even more susceptible to those heat related illnesses. And, like I said, with the pandemic and changes in how much people are going out in right now, I you feel it everywhere you go, which is I think you just ends up me. People want to be out and then, you know, like I said, we’ll probably talk any segments about some of the changes with the the Delta variants that’s going on and it’s the fear, but in general we’ve seen more people start getting out and taking your loved ones out places. It’s it’s kind of a mixed bag, I think, because a lot of seniors they want to go out, but they’re also fearful and they don’t know who to trust and there’s this this feeling of, you know, who do I listen to? You know, I, and the other side of it is, you know, there in many cases they’re embarrassed by maybe their home has been, you know, neglected over the last fifteen months of quarantine. They’ve been in a such situation where they’re, you know, they might be dealing with depression which leads to a escalated symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia. So those can, you know, they can kind of be protective. I would imagine with their family that the family may not beginning the whole story. Are You finding that? Absolutely, and we find that, you know, like it was with the home care situation, whether we’re people’s homes or is just a living we were in the more about the people that are living alone and do with a family members that are checking on them regularly. Because you’re right, you know, they tell the story. Sometimes the are verified. You know. No, for twenty three years we advocate, you know, people aiding in place. We want them to be safe and functioning at their highest level in their home, but sometimes they get really scared. I don’t want to admit to sons and daughters and grand grand daughters and grandsons that maybe things aren’t quite as good as they wanted to be. So they kind of painted a rosy picture. That may not always be the case, that’s for sure. Yes, yeah, and I think to Sean, when you look at the whole picture of where we’re at with this whole, you know, situation and with this summer. I mean of course, here in the West Coast we’re dealing with wildfires like crazy and there’s no smoke, which is a whole other piece of it. Where in where we’re at. I walked out on my patio and I looked up at the sun on I saw this orange ball because the sky is full of smoke right now. We’re lucky on western Washington. You know, the jet stream goes from the Pacific Ocean eastward, so we’re not getting that the smoke they you know, in our lungs as much, but we see it in the sky and we’re talking. It’s I was going to say you in you know, in the Midwest. Yeah, we were in La Gary and over the weeks and and we saw it, you know, and the haze. You know, we’ve seen reports out of New York City that they hay making pictures over the last couple of weeks. Yeah, so certainly it’s affecting the whole country. Is That’s moved east, you know, and you definitely see it the sky and you have to worry about our older adult to cover respiratory illness, is chronic diseases getting there. So that’s, you know, whole other piece of the puzzle. That you know you have to worry about. But in general, there really are universal things in the summer, when you’re dealing with people and, like I, like you’ve mentioned before, the people that are by themselves. You know, we really need to be concerned about we need to be checking on them every day, whether it’s a family member, a neighbor. My friend is just so critical that we are keeping tabs on them. And then, okay, well, let’s say you make connections and how do we assess if there be if they are safe? What are the things that, you know, we can promote? Certainly we hear about hydration as the number one thing that we do, you know, eight, eight glasses of water a day, you know, I think there’s not anybody that hasn’t heard that before. But knowing the warning signs of the hydration, it’s one thing. We need to be hydrate it right. I’m guilty. I don’t drink the enough water, right, you know, and I think that’s something that we all need to be mindful of. I think also, you know, for to reach out to our communities and it’s to our listeners. It’s like, if you have, if you know of a senior in your neighborhood or even a senior community or, you know, anything like that that you can just reach out and maybe it’s just to say, you know, we made some lemonade and here I wanted to bring you glass, or it’s something like that. I know that when I used to go visit my mom, every single time I’d go visit her, I would bring her in the summer, a root your float and we share that together. And if like this big deal because senior’s love of sweets, well, you know, and had to have stuff like that, that’s a great street and it’s a wonderful way to break the eye. So I know that that’s so important. Yeah, it really is important. You will have our caregivors. Even are asking the members to take, you know, the big like one big, thirty two ounce jug and I say, you know, you still that up and we want you drinking two of those a day. You mean something that’s very concrete, easy to measure, easy to remember. Is is setting it up that way if you can really monitor and then knowing the signs of dehydration. If you’re looking at somebody and you’re seeing that they’re increased confusion is a sign. Rapid heart rate weakness, all of those things, muscle cramped, all of those symptoms are important to look for and someone as the hydrate, because there’s something that can put you in the hospital quicker than anything and an older adult, is the hydration. It is that that severe. So you have to know what to look out for, not just to promote hydration. So Sean, thank you, Almon and everyone. She’s going to be with us this hour and we’re going to talk a little bit. Now we’re going to go to the other side of the fence and we’re going to talk about family caregivers. What’s going on with family caregivers right now, and Sean will be right back right after this
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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.