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Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month
Thursday 17th of March 2016
April is National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects nearly one million Americans and over 7 million people worldwide. The cause is unknown and there is presently no cure. Symptoms that an individual with PD experiences include; • Tremor of the hands, arms, legs and face • Bradykinesia or slowness of movement • Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk • Postural instability or impaired balance and coordination Holly Chaimov, Executive Director of Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon, says that people with PD do not need to face this disease alone. Her organization serves about 10,000 people in Oregon and SW Washington with individual counseling, educational workshops, a HELPLINE, suggestions for classes and 60 local support groups to help people with PD and their loved ones. She says there is nothing like the peer support that comes from the first-hand experience of people who have dealt with the disease. Awareness month activities this year include a Linda Ronstadt tribute concert called, “Heart Like a Wheel.” Linda Ronstadt is an American pop singer of the 70s and 80s who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012. The concert that benefits PD speech and communication classes will be held Saturday, April 30th at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland. General admission tickets are available for $22 by calling 800-426-6806. They can also be purchased at the door. The venue opens at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Parkinson’s Disease Resources of Oregon (PRO) is a nationally recognized non-profit that has a mission to empower individuals to meet the challenges of living with PD with information, education, personal support and advocacy for a cure. PRO provides support and resources for people living with PD, their families and caregivers. They have a five-part training for caregiving professionals and a bi-monthly newsletter.
The only constant is change.
Thursday 14th of September 2017
Do you feel overwhelmed with change in your life? It’s no wonder; seniors encounter more change in this stage of human development than in most other life stages. Major changes and life transitions older people often experience include: • Accepting services (e.g., delivered meals). • Adjusting to an illness. • Adapting to a device (e.g., cane, hearing aid). • Becoming a family caregiver. • Being on a fixed income. • Changing driving habits or ceasing driving. • Finding meaning and purpose after a career. • Losing a spouse or significant other. • Moving from a familiar home. • Needing assistance in the home. (University of Cincinnati, Ohio, 2011). Even one of these challenges may feel daunting. If you or someone you care about is in a time of transition it may help to remind yourself of some of the other challenges you’ve overcome in your lifetime. Seniors are incredibly resilient! Here are a few tips taken from a training resource (Look Closer, See Me) to help you adapt to change: • Seek information that will help you understand the situation and reduce fear. If you feel confused, be patient with yourself and ask more questions. • Strengthen relationships with people you trust by sharing your thoughts and feelings with them. • Allow people you trust to partner with you in your wellbeing. Ask for their insights. • Tell others how they might help. People who care about you will be relieved by not having to guess. • Accept support from both informal (friends, family, neighbors) and formal (healthcare professional) helpers. • Embrace your freedom of choice. • Identify solutions: what does successfully adjusting and adapting to this change mean to you? Adapting to change is not only possible it is inevitable. United Homecare Services wants you to know you don’t have to go through it alone.

Colorectal Cancer is the Cancer You Can Prevent!
Wednesday 8th of February 2017
Did you know that your risk of developing colon cancer increases as you get older? According to the Center for Disease Control, “More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older.” The Oregon Health Authority is touting colon cancer as “the cancer you can prevent” in a campaign that went Statewide in 2011.

They key to preventing colorectal cancer is, of course, screening and early detection. Because people are most likely to get screened if someone they know and trust encourages them, this campaign urges Oregonians who were already screened to talk about their experience, and encourage others to get screened too.

If you’ve been screened for colon cancer, join us in talking about this preventable disease. In conversations, consider sharing:

• Everyone over the age of 50 (45 for African Americans) should be screened for colorectal cancer even if they don’t have a family history or symptoms.

• Screening lets your doctor find and remove polyps before they turn cancerous, or catch cancer at an early stage when it’s highly treatable.

• Most insurance plans cover 100% of the cost of screening with no co-pays or deductibles. Even without insurance, there are low cost, reliable options.

• Talk to your doctor about the one that is right for you. Make and keep your appointment to be screened.

• Then, do what I’m doing: tell someone else.

Bone and Joint Health Month
Wednesday 14th of September 2016
Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week begins October 12th. This observance week was created in order to bring to light the importance of musculoskeletal health and what can be done to prevent and care for these conditions. For adults over the age of 60, one minor fracture could be life-threatening. Here are some preventive measures that can reduce your chances of fracturing a bone.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can cause a huge strain on joints, resulting in chronic pain in the knees, back, and hips. The best way to relieve this pain and reduce pressure on these areas can usually be done by losing the extra pounds.

Exercise. Light to moderate exercise on a daily basis will strengthen both the joints and bones. Swimming or biking are great activities to get the heart rate up and reduce joint swelling and increase bone strength. The worst thing elders can do for their health is sit still because without moving the body for long periods of time, the joints will become stiff.

Practice good posture. Slouching is not good for your joints. Posture is also important when lifting and carrying. Use the biggest muscles in your body by bending at the knees instead of your back.

Quit drinking and smoking. Bone mass can be greatly reduced by heavy drinking and tobacco usage, increasing the chances of bone fractures. The best way to keep bones and joints healthy is by eliminating these toxic products.

Get plenty of calcium. Some excellent sources of calcium include dairy products, such as low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt; foods fortified with calcium; dark green, leafy vegetables; nuts, salmon and soybeans.

Many seniors are plagued with joint pain or fragile bones, so during Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week consider this tips in order to remain healthy and pain-free.

Healthy Skin Recommendations for Summer
Thursday 14th of July 2016
The National Institutes of Health have tips for keeping skin healthy as you get older. Skin becomes thinner, loses fat and doesn’t look as plump or smooth as it once did. If you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun or tanning salons, that may lead to wrinkles, dryness, age spots and even skin cancer. It takes longer for cuts, scratches and bruises to heal. Despite this, there are things you can do to protect your skin and keep it healthy. First, limit your time in the sun. Avoid being in the sun during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be aware that the sun’s rays can penetrate cloud cover and you can get sunburned even while in water. Secondly, use sunscreen if you’re going outside. Look for an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen and put it on 15 to 30 minutes ahead of time. Reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours or more often if you are swimming, sweating or rubbing it off on a towel. You should also wear protective clothing and sunglasses. A hat with a brim can protect your head, neck, face and ears. Look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of the sun’s rays (UV protective). If you have to be in the sun for a long time, wear loose, lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts. Avoid sun lamps or tanning beds. Check your skin once a month for the “ABCDE” signs of skin cancer: A—Asymmetry: One half of the growth looks different than the other half B—Borders: The edges look irregular C—Color: Changes in color or different colors D—Diameter: The diameter of growth is greater than the size of a pencil eraser E—Evolving: The growth is changing in size, shape, symptoms, surface or shades of color.

Preventing Dehydration in Older Adults
Thursday 14th of July 2016
Having enough water in the body helps keep systems functioning well. Dehydration can lead to problems such as urinary tract infections and blood pressure disturbances. This is particularly challenging for seniors in the hot summer weather. Seniors are more prone to dehydration for several reasons: • As people get older, their body water content decreases. • The ability to notice changes in body temperature typically decreases with age. • Older people often experience less thirst that leads to reduced fluid intake. • With aging, the kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate urine and retain water for times of deprivation. • Specific conditions such as incontinence, swallowing disorders, reduced mobility, and reduced comprehension can contribute to dehydration. • Other underlying medical conditions and medications can make older people less able to adapt to heat. What can be done to prevent dehydration? The key is fluid intake. Plan ahead and make sure you always have plenty to drink. Consume at least eight ounces of water when taking medications and at meals. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator or bottles of water on hand throughout the day. If a person’s taste is not for plain water, substitute iced tea, lemonade or sparkling flavored waters. Also, offer “watery” foods such as soups, broths, popsicles and fruits like watermelon. According to the Department on Aging and the Adult and Geriatric Institute, there are shocking statistics associated with dehydration: • The estimated avoidable cost of hospitalizations resulting from dehydration is $1.14 billion annually. • Dehydration is a frequent cause of emergency room visits and is one of the ten most frequent diagnoses responsible for hospitalizations in the U.S. • Dehydration is associated with many elder health issues including confusion, impaired cognition, falls and constipation. Dehydration is a serious condition that can have serious consequences. Take care this summer to ensure that you and your family get plenty of fluids.

Older Americans Act is Reauthorized
Tuesday 17th of May 2016
President Obama signed the Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2016 on April 19th. The Act, originating more than fifty years ago, reaffirms our nation’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of our older adults. It is now renewed for the next three years. Passage comes almost ten years since the last Act was renewed. The legislation keeps core programs intact plus adds an increase of 6% in spending over the previous law. The Act allows older people to remain at home and in the community by providing necessary services to maintain their independence and safety. Some of the services covered are: • Feeding America’s elderly poor—maintains congregate and home-delivered meals, including local fresh fruits and vegetables. • Combating Elder Abuse—improves training on elder abuse prevention and screening for professionals in the aging field and allows Ombudsmen to assist residents of long-term care facilities. • Creating new support for modernizing multipurpose senior centers. • Helping family caregivers—older adults caring for adult children with disabilities will be eligible for the National Family Caregiver Support Program. • Providing older Americans with better information about resources available to them by creating improved coordination between Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) and Area Agencies on Aging. • Requiring the federal government to provide guidance and best practices to the states to better serve Holocaust survivors. The legislative champions for the Bill includes: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), Patty Murray (D-Wash), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA), John Kline (R-Minn) and our own Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). This Act is more important than ever now because of the changing demographics of our country. Within a few years, there will be over 77 million Americans over the age of 60. More than 34 million younger Americans will be providing care and support for these seniors. It will eventually affect all of us because we are aging or assisting an older friend or loved one.

May is Older Americans Month
Thursday 28th of April 2016
From 83-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg to 84-year-old actress Rita Moreno to 69-year-old NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr., older Americans exemplify what people can do regardless of age. Older citizens are a growing demographic group and an increasingly vital part of our country. The contributions they make to our communities are varied and include influential roles in politics, business, economics and the arts. In 1963, we began to acknowledge these contributions by designating the month of May as Older Americans Month. Led by the Administration for Community Living, the annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation’s older people. The 2016 theme is “Blaze a Trail.” This theme emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and passions, volunteering and blazing a positive trail of influence and impact on the lives of people of all ages. Let’s have Beaverton use Older Americans Month to focus on how older people in our community are leading and inspiring others. From our Mayor Denny Doyle to our great teachers, ministers, business leaders, and volunteers, our city benefits greatly from their hard work and leadership. Also part of May’s events is the 23rd Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 25th. This year’s theme is “Improve Your Health for a Better Self.” The goal is to help keep older people fit and healthy. This is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for older adults. It is organized by a public-private partnership by the Mature Market Resource Center. Beaverton is fortunate to have many health and fitness providers at the ready to assist our older population with their health and wellness needs. Take time this month to acknowledge and thank an older person in our community who has touched your life and continues to inspire you.

Aloha Curves and Jenny Craig Partners with United Homecare Services
Wednesday 3rd of February 2016
"Have you heard? Curves® and Jenny Craig® have teamed up to help members achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals. Under one roof, a personal Jenny Craig Consultant is there to help guide and support members every step of the way with customized menu planning, strategies for various eating situations and more.

In the same space, a Curves Coach is there to guide members through 30-minute workouts with strength training, cardio and stretching for every fitness level. Curves, designed for women, also currently offers the following classes: Body Balance, Body Basics, Curves Circuit with Zumba, Boxing, Dance and Tone and Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels, which are cutting-edge total body workouts that feature the Curves Circuit strength training machines in conjunction with functional body weight-based exercises. Aloha Curves/Jenny Craig provides a one-stop-shop for those looking to focus on their health and wellness.

"Now is a great time to let Aloha Curves/Jenny Craig help you set attainable fitness and/or weight loss goals. For more information on programs and discounts, contact Aloha Curves/Jenny Craig at 503-356-5454 or visit www.curves.com and www.jennycraig.com. They're ready to help you be the healthiest YOU!"

Come in for your FREE consultation and learn about our exciting NEW specialty classes!

ALOHA CURVES and JENNY CRAIG 20229 S.W. Tualatin Valley Hwy, Aloha, OR 97003 Located next door to Rite Aid, across from the Aloha Intel campus in the Market Centre shopping mall

Tel: 503-356-5454 Email: info@alohacjc.com

Link: Aloha Curves and Jenny Craig

Family Caregiver Support Group Forming
Monday 28th of December 2015
United Homecare Services will be sponsoring a Beaverton family caregiver support group starting on January 23rd from 10-11:30 a.m. at their offices at 5050 SW Griffith Dr., Suite 206. Camille Keith, MS, LPC-intern, a local counselor who has a practice in downtown Beaverton, will facilitate the group. The aim of the group is to provide support, stress relief and self-care strategies for people who care for their family members, friends or neighbors as informal caregivers.

The January 23rd meeting will be an exploratory session to gauge interest and gather ideas for the formation of a monthly Saturday morning group. Other groups are currently available in Washington County during the daytime on weekdays. This group is designed for those who cannot get away during the week because of their own employment or caregiving duties. (For more information about the Washington County caregiver support groups and their other services call 1-855-673-2372.)

Almost two-thirds of people ages 65 and older rely exclusively on informal care for their personal care needs. Over 18 million Americans provide this care for an ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year. Providing care takes its toll on caregivers’ mental and physical health. Family caregivers are at higher risk for stress related illnesses and suffer from depression at twice the national rate. Half of these people say they do not have time to take care of themselves and are too tired to do so.

The new caregiver support group hopes to provide a place for people to relax, de-stress, get new ideas for self-care and have a safe, non-judgmental environment for sharing. Various methods will be explored including mindfulness, journaling, creativity, music, and Tai Chi. If you have questions about the group, call Regina Ford, Area Manager for United Homecare Services at 503-433-8079.

Ten Ways to Alleviate Holiday Caregiver Stress
Wednesday 23rd of December 2015
Holidays bring family gatherings, time-honored traditions and pleasant memories of days gone by. But, the holidays can also bring stress from thinking that you must accomplish everything you once did before you became a family caregiver. Now, you have many demands on your time. Most informal caregivers feel that they don’t have enough time for themselves and are chronically tired. When you add the demands of the holidays on top of that, it can seem insurmountable.

Here are some helpful tips to guide you through a calm holiday time:

1. Don’t feel like you have to do everything you once did. You don’t have to do all the decorating, baking, and entertaining you once did. Modify your plans. Simplify.

2. Take everything slow and easy. Don’t overburden yourself with tasks and move so fast that you don’t appreciate each day and simple pleasures of the holidays. Maintain a sense of peace and calm.

3. Keep your regular routines as much as possible. Confusion and unfamiliar circumstances can be upsetting to people with memory problems. Even slight changes can cause a disturbance for some people.

4. Keep in mind that frail, ill or older people tire easily. They may need more sleep or may not react favorably to the holidays. Limit the number of guests and the length of visits.

5. Ask for help. If you need time to go shopping or bake or send holiday cards or gifts, have a relative or friend come and take over while you get away for a while.

6. Try to include the people you care for in whatever you do. Let people do what they are able, even if it is a small task. It is important to feel part of things.

7. Be careful about putting obstacles in walk paths. Trees, electrical cords, large decorations, etc. can be trip and fall hazards. Don’t light candles or use items that could cause fires.

8. Recognize that you can’t make everyone happy all the time. Set aside some private time for yourself and do something that brings you peace and calm—a walk, a bath, reading, exercise, music, etc.

9. Keep your emotional balance. Send positive messages to yourself out loud and give positive affirmations and encouragement to your loved one.

10. Hire a homecare company like United Homecare Services to allow you the time to do what you need to do during the holidays. Our team of experienced caregivers can provide a variety of services that can allow you to enjoy the season.

Preventing Elder Scams
Thursday 19th of November 2015
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! This is just one of six signs of a scam or fraud listed in a warning page issued by Ellen Rosenblum, the Oregon Attorney General. Following are the Six Signs It Is a Scam:

#1: Scammers contact you out of the blue. They pretend to be from the IRS, or a debt collection agency. They tell you that you must pay them now or risk prosecution.

#2: Scammers claim there is an emergency. They tell you that you have to claim your prize right away or they say a relative needs you to wire them money immediately.

#3: Scammers ask for your personal information. They pose as the government, your bank, or a healthcare provider. If anyone asks you for your personal information like your social security number or bank account numbers over the phone—hang up!

#4: Scammers ask you to wire money or buy pre-paid debit cards. This is the easiest way for them to get your money. Don’t fall for it.

#5: Scammers tell you to keep it a secret. They don’t want you to discuss your transaction because your relatives and friends would question it and intervene. Check with people you trust before acting on a deal.

#6: If it sounds too good to be true—it probably is. It is always better to be cautious than to be a victim.

Our Washington County District Attorney, Bob Hermann, prosecutes cases of fraud and elder abuse. If you or someone you know has fallen prey to a scammer, you can call the Consumer Complaint Hotline at 1-877-877-9392. To report elder abuse or neglect, call 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). If a person is at immediate physical risk, call 911.

Awareness - Depression in Older Adults
Monday 2nd of November 2015
Dark, rainy winters in Oregon can cause anyone to feel down—especially seniors. Oregon ranks in the bottom four states for depression in America’s Health Rankings Senior Report for 2014. The National Institute of Mental Health considers depression in people age 65 and older to be a major public health problem for the nation as a whole as well. The suicide rate in people ages 80 to 84 is more than twice that of the general population.

Changes that occur in later life such as retirement, loss of a spouse or chronic medical conditions can lead to depression. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, the condition is defined as a mood disorder that affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. It impacts your energy, sleep, appetite and physical health.

Knowing the signs of depression is useful for broaching the subject with your loved one or acquaintance. These signs are:

• Extreme sadness (not always present)
• Fatigue, lack of energy
• Loss of interest
• Social withdrawal
• Loss of self-worth (worries of being a burden)
• Weight loss
• Sleep disturbance
• Increased drug or alcohol use
• Suicidal thoughts

Depression is not a character flaw or weakness. It can happen to anyone and can be treated with medications, counseling, therapies and new forms of brain stimulation. It can occur with other medical illnesses and tends to last longer in older people. Certain prescription medications may produce symptoms of depression as a side effect.

People may self-medicate with alcohol to deal with physical and emotional pain. It may make you feel better in the short term, but it can make symptoms of depression worse and impair your brain function. It can also interact negatively with medications and cause sleep disturbance.

Depression and dementia share some common symptoms and may be difficult to distinguish. Don’t assume that lacking mental sharpness is a normal sign of aging. It should be reported and checked.

November: National Family Caregivers Month
Monday 2nd of November 2015
National Family Caregivers Month celebrates our nation’s 90 million adults who provide $450 billion in care for their older, sick or disabled family members each year. Family, friends and neighbors currently provide 80% of all care of seniors in our country. Caregiving can be a rewarding experience that draws you closer to your loved one. It can also provide challenges with your time, finances and health.

The typical higher-hour caregiver has been providing at least 21 hours of care for 5 1/2 years and expects to continue for another 5 years. Nearly half of these people report high levels of emotional stress. This takes its toll especially on the spouses of those requiring constant care. Family caregivers also experience financial stress as they reduce work hours or pay for many out-of-pocket expenses.

Forty percent of adults in the U.S. are currently caring for a loved one with a significant health issue—up from 30% just five years ago. More complex care is happening in the home now than ever before with family members performing nursing tasks, operating specialized equipment and managing medications. This points to a need for training for the family caregiver. The Oregon Caregiver Training Initiative provides free caregiver training classes. Find out more at OregonCarePartners.com.

The typical American caregiver is a middle-aged woman who works and also cares for her children. This can significantly affect her work life and add stress. Top tips for family caregivers are to seek support and take care of your own health. Here in Washington County we have the Family Caregiver Support Program to help. It has respite services, support groups, medical equipment, counseling and education for family caregivers. In-home care companies, such as the Beaverton nonprofit, United Homecare Services, can assist family caregivers with personal care, transportation, housekeeping and companionship care.

Link: Link to Oregon Care Partners website

10th Annual Aging in Place Week. Oct. 12-20
Monday 19th of October 2015
National Aging in Place Week will be celebrated during the second full week of October by chapters of the National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC) around the country. The 10th annual event will have community activities to educate people about how to remain living in their homes and communities. The term “aging in place” was coined more than a decade ago and has become popular as the baby boomer generation prepares to age independently and resist institutional care. An AARP survey determined that 90% of Americans over 65 prefer to stay in their own homes as they age.

With the 78 million baby boomers turning 65 years old at a rate of 10,000 per day, the government and business sectors are bracing for the demands on elder services to come. “Fortunately, services and tools are available to enable seniors to age in place safely and confidently,” says Marty Bell, NAIPC Executive Director. The field of gerontology has also contributed greatly to our understanding of aging and the needs associated with it.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) has defined aging in place as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level." There is a strong focus on housing options, the physical environment, and social supports. There are many organizations, resources, services and products now available to aging Americans.

In other parts of the world there are efforts to better address older people’s needs and aspirations. The Madrid Report of United Nations covers a wide range of issues, from housing to community and globalization. It points to a need for governments, in partnership with civil society, to promote age-integrated communities. It recognizes the need for investment in local infrastructure and environmental design to support multigenerational communities. It also stresses affordability and equity of access and choice.

New Zealand’s Positive Aging Strategy defines aging in place as “being able to make choices in later life about where to live, and receive the support needed to do so.” It, however, does not address how such choice is to be supported by the government resources available. The Global Age-Friendly City project of the World Health Organization uses a participatory approach. It invites older people from countries all over the world to determine the important aspects of an age-friendly city. Portland and, more recently, Multnomah County in Oregon have joined the age-friendly city campaign. Many other cities are considering joining this movement.

We are in the midst of a huge demographic and cultural shift in our country. As Marty Bell explains, “To this point, aging in place has been like a town in the early 1950s with a lot of individual stores spread all over. Then, someone built a mall. We need to bring all the services (for seniors) together and build a Virtual Mall for Aging in Place.”

Observing Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day
Tuesday 1st of September 2015
Fall is just around the corner, but a fall in your home shouldn’t be. That’s why United Homecare Services is joining with the National Council on Aging and the Falls Free® Coalition to celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 23—the first day of the fall season. The eighth-annual event seeks to raise awareness about preventing fall-related injuries among older Americans. This year’s theme is “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls.”

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury for people 65 years of age and older. More than 25,000 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries in 2013. Falls also cause 95 percent of all hip fractures in the U.S. and can result in loss of mobility and independence. Although common, falls are not normal or inevitable. We can change things by bringing greater attention to the many preventive measures that can easily be employed to keep older people safe.

Oregon is part of the Falls Free Initiative, which includes 43 state-based falls prevention coalitions and 70 national organizations, professional associations and federal agencies. At community centers in and around Oregon, programs like A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi and Stepping On help older adults gain strength, improve balance and build confidence to live healthier lives and maintain independence.

How can older adults prevent falls?

Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good in this respect.

Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines— both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.

Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.

Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving the lighting in their homes.

Some of the fall prevention exercise programs available are:

• Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance® (TJQMBB)—Regina Ford, UHS Beaverton area manager, is a certified instructor
• Stepping on Falls Prevention Program
• Otago Exercise Program
• The Go4Life Program, with free virtual coaching to encourage physical activity
• The STEADI Fall Prevention Toolkit, designed to help healthcare providers incorporate falls risk assessment and proven interventions into their clinical practices

Link: Additional information from Public Health Oregon - Fall Prevention    PDF: UHS-Bulletin Preventing Falls in the Home

Beaverton Agency — Now Open!
Friday 21st of August 2015
United Homecare Services is celebrating its grand opening in Beaverton. The non-profit agency provides personal care services, transportation, light housekeeping, meal preparation and companionship for older or disabled people in the Portland metro area. The agency will partner with family caregivers to develop flexible strategies to assist them with their responsibilities. One of these strategies is a distinctive two-hour minimum of care where most agencies require 3 or 4 hours at a time. There is a limited time grand opening special of four hours of care for the price of two to introduce clients to the new business.

Regina Ford is the Area Manager of the new homecare non-profit. With over 35 years of healthcare experience, Ms. Ford holds an MBA, a B.A. in management and is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. She is also a member of the Beaverton Senior Citizens’ Advisory Committee and an instructor in Tai Chi for Better Balance. “I am looking forward to partnering with families in providing care for their loved ones,” says Ms. Ford. “Keeping people in their homes for as long as possible is a passion of mine.” Ms. Ford believes that the caregiving staff is the backbone of the agency. For that reason, United Homecare Services only hires experienced caregivers.

The first United Homecare Services agency was opened in 2001 in Coos Bay by Robert Menzel. By 2005, the second agency was opened in McMinnville. Donna Lewis, Regional Manager, has been leading the McMinnville agency since its opening. Robert Menzel has since passed away, but the mission-driven non-profit continues with his son, Jeff Menzel, at the helm of the Board of Directors. “As an Oregon-based non-profit agency, we started 15 years ago with a simple mission—to help older people remain in their homes. Today, that mission remains our focus as we expand to the Portland Metro area,” says Mr. Menzel.

The agency is located and 5050 SW Griffith Dr. in Suite 206. If you are interested in finding out more or scheduling a consultation can call 503-433-8079.

September is Healthy Aging® Month
Friday 21st of August 2015
September Is Healthy Aging Month is an annual observance designed to bring national attention to the positive aspects of aging. The mission is to encourage local events that promote taking personal responsibility for one’s health, be it physical, social, mental or financial. Started by Healthy Aging Magazine editor Carolyn Worthington, the celebration is in its second decade. According to Worthington, it is never too late to reinvent yourself—to find a new career, sport, passion or hobby.

Worthington says September Is Healthy Aging Month provides inspiration and practical ideas for adults ages 45-plus whose numbers are growing every year. The attention used to be just on the baby boomers, but the generation X-ers are elbowing their way in and have many of the same interests as their parents—staying active and vibrant for as long as possible. There are more than 87 million baby boomers, and now more than 80 million generation X-ers (depending on how the generation is defined) are entering their 50s.

“Use September as the motivation to take stock of where you’ve been, what you really would like to do if money were no object,” Worthington says. “And try it! Who says you have to do something related to what you studied in school? Who says you can’t start your own home business later in life, test your physical prowess or do something wildly different from anything you’ve done before? Only that person you see in the mirror!”

Why Healthy Aging? According to Worthington, “We saw a need to draw attention to the myths of aging, to shout out, ‘Hey, it’s not too late to take control of your health; it’s never too late to get started on something new.’ Why not think about the positive aspects of aging instead of the stereotypes and the negative aspects?”

September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month, since it is time when many people think about starting new tasks after the summer vacations. Drawing on the back-to-school urge embedded in everyone since childhood, the month’s activities are designed to encourage people to rejuvenate and get going on positive measures that can impact physical, social, financial and mental wellness.

September Is Healthy Aging Month was introduced when the baby boomers were about to turn 50. “At that time, no one wanted to talk about growing older,” Worthington says. “Today, as the boomers turn 60 and 65, it’s a different story. We recognized early on that careful attention to the combination of physical, social, mental and financial fitness was powerful in the pursuit of a positive lifestyle and have built our Healthy Aging programs around that concept for the government and private sector through this annual observance.

To get you started on reinventing yourself, here are some ideas from the editors of Healthy Aging Mag­a­zine (www.healthyaging.net).

10 Tips for Reinventing Yourself during September Is Healthy Aging Month:

1. Do not act your age or at least what you think your current age should act like. What was your best year so far? 28? 40? Now? Picture yourself at that age and be it. Some people may say this is denial, but we say it’s positive thinking and goes a long way toward feeling better about yourself.
2. Be positive in your conversations and your actions every day. When you catch yourself complaining, check yourself right there and change the conversation to something positive.
3. Distance yourself from people who do not have a positive outlook on life. They will only depress you and stop you from moving forward. Surround yourself with energetic, happy, positive people of all ages and you will be happier too.
4. Walk like a vibrant, healthy person. Come on. You can probably do it. Analyze your gait. Do you walk slowly because you have just become lazy or, perhaps, have a fear of falling? (Tip: Make a conscious effort to take big strides, walk with your heel first, and wear comfortable shoes.)
5. Stand up straight! You can knock off the appearance of a few extra years with this trick your mother kept trying to tell you. Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you holding your stomach in, have your shoulders back, chin up? Check out how much better your neck looks! Fix your stance and practice it every day, all day until it is natural. You will look great and feel better. (Tip: Your waistline will look trimmer if you follow this advice.)
6. How’s your smile? Research shows people who smile more often are happier. Your teeth are just as important to your good health as the rest of your body. Not only is it the first thing people notice, but good oral health is a gateway to your overall well-being. (Tip: Go to the dentist regularly and look into teeth whitening. Nothing says old more than yellowing teeth!)
7. Lonely? Stop brooding and complaining about having no friends or family. Do something about it now. Right this minute. Pick up the phone and make a call to do one or more of the following: Volunteer your time, take a class, and invite someone to meet for lunch, brunch, dinner, or coffee.
8. Start walking not only for your health but to see the neighbors. Have a dog? You’ll be amazed how the dog can be a conversation starter. (Tip: If you don’t have time for a dog, go to your local animal shelter and volunteer. You will be thrilled by the puppy love!)
9. Set up your annual physical and other health screenings. Go to the appointments and then, hopefully, you can stop worrying about ailments for a while.
10. Find your inner artist. Who says taking music lessons is for young school children? You may have an artist lurking inside you just waiting to be tapped. Have you always wanted to play the piano, violin, or tuba? Have you ever wondered if you could paint a portrait or scenic in oil? What about working in wood? (Tip: Sign up now for fall art or music classes and discover your inner artist!)

United Homecare Services is a nonprofit public benefit agency providing in-home, nonmedical personal care to seniors and those in need of personal care assistance. As employees, our caregivers have been carefully selected, thoroughly screened, trained, bonded and insured. Serving western Oregon since 2001. Home office: McMinnville, Oregon.
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