Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care of Chester County, Pennsylvania, is Helping Keep Seniors Safe Online

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• they have the patience and dedication that it takes to learn;

• they have more leisure time for picking up and developing new skills;

• they are motivated to stay in touch with family and friends;

• for some seniors, computers are a way to overcome physical challenges;

• online shopping is a real plus for persons with mobility problems.

But you probably know that seniors are a prime target for scam artists, and you may have read about some of the many Internet and e-mail fraud schemes out there. Some seniors do feel hesitant about going online, and recent studies show the 65+ crowd are the most likely to be cautious on the Internet. But that can be a good thing! With a little education on the subject, it is possible to surf the web safely and avoid e-mail pitfalls.

Here are a few simple “do’s and don’ts” to help an older friend or loved one stay safe online:

DON’T…respond to any e-mail asking you for personal information, such as social security number, bank account numbers or PIN number. Banks, credit card companies and other legitimate businesses will not ask you for personal information in an e-mail.

DO…be sure to log out from any site where you’ve entered personal information, a password, user name, etc. if you use a computer in a public place, such as your local library or senior center.

DON’T…click on an e-mail attachment unless you know who it’s from, and until you’ve carefully checked the personal e-mail message that goes with it. Some viruses “send themselves” from someone else’s computer without the owner knowing. When in doubt, double check with the sender before clicking the attachment.

DO…install antivirus and antispyware software on your computer, and keep it up to date.

DON’T…respond to junk e-mail (spam), not even to “unsubscribe” from their e-mailing list. That just lets the spammer know they’ve found a valid e-mail address. The safest path is to ignore and delete.

Just as in any other area of life, knowledge is power when it comes to computer security. Knowing they have taken a few precautions while online-just as they do in real life-will help seniors enjoy the Internet with confidence.

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.

Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care of Chester County, PA, Encourages Healthier ‘Fast Food’ Choices for Seniors

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Did you stop at your favorite drive-through on the way to work today-or are you planning a quick jaunt to a local fast-food restaurant on your lunch hour?

Ongoing research increasingly confirms that maintaining the right body weight is one of the key factors in healthy aging. Carrying extra pounds increases the risk and severity of many health conditions, such as heart disease, arthritis, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Staying active is an important part of keeping at a healthy weight…but no matter how active you are, if you take in more calories than you use up, you will gain weight.

As you know, the term “fast food” might as well be “fat food” in most cases! But here are some tips for making that a less lethal trip:

  • Order your hamburger plain instead of with cheese, bacon or fatty sauces. There are still plenty of toppings that won’t push you over your fat limit, such as ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, and lettuce.
  • Avoid giant burgers with large patties or several layers of meat. And if you can’t resist french fries, choose the smallest size.
  • Choose your beverage wisely. Did you know that a 32-ounce sugared soft drink has almost 500 calories? That’s almost one-fourth of the daily 2,000-calorie allowance for an active woman over 50! Stick with water, ice tea, low-fat milk or diet soda. And remember: a milkshake doesn’t count as a beverage, weighing in at 1000 calories for a large chocolate malted.
  • Chicken is healthier than red meat, right? Wrong, if the chicken is breaded and deep fried! Remove some or most of the breading before eating-or better yet, select a skinless grilled chicken sandwich instead. And the same thing goes for fish.
  • If you’ve opted for the salad bar instead of a burger, remember that salad dressings, cheese and creamy salads can add more fat than you might get in a burger. And put the dressing on the side-you’ll eat less of it that way.
  • If you aren’t sure about the fat, calorie or sodium content of menu items, ask to see a nutritional value list, which can help you make your decision.

Bottom line: the Food Pyramid doesn’t change shape just because you went through a drive-through or are sitting under a pair of golden arches rather than in your own kitchen. Even if you love fast food or at least its convenience, start making wise menu choices now. Your heart will thank you!

To Help You Choose…

Calorie Count.com has an extensive collection of nutritional information for many fast food chains. Bookmark the site, and check it out before ordering that next triple cheeseburger combo!

NutritionData.com offers similar information for a number of chains, and a graphic representation of the nutrients.

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.

Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Encourages Seniors to Look for Local Volunteer Opportunities

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You can find many opportunities for yourself or a loved one to get involved with volunteering in your community or anywhere in the world.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Local theater, opera, and dance companies use volunteer ushers to stretch their budgets. And you get to see performances for free!

• Be a friendly visitor and companion to an elderly, home-bound senior.

• Volunteer to help plan a fundraising walk for a cause about which you are passionate, such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

• Your church or temple may have opportunities to volunteer during parts of services. Teach religion classes to youngsters or care for youngsters in the nursery during services.

Tutor students through school-sponsored programs.

• Act as a mentor for a young boy or girl through your local Big Brothers Big Sisters.

• If you love animals, volunteer at a local zoo, veterinary clinic, or animal shelter.

• Don’t forget your neighbors, friends, or relatives with young children who could use a babysitter for a night out or a few hours to run errands.

• Ask a local childcare facility, library, or school if you can read children’s books aloud to kids.

• Help young people of all ages become workforce ready through programs such as those sponsored by Junior Achievement.

Look for volunteer opportunities for seniors in your local area by searching the Internet or visiting your local senior center. Retired Brains (www.retiredbrains.com) has a long list of opportunities that you can find not only in your local area but that also involve travel domestically and internationally.

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.

Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care of Chester County, PA, Recognizes Cataract Awareness Month in August

The Truth About Cataracts

Did you know that 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts, one of the most curable causes of vision loss?

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A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, blocking the passage of light needed for vision. They form slowly and cause no pain. Some stay small and hardly affect vision, but if the cataract does grow and begin to affect your vision, it can usually be removed with surgery.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide; however, in most cases, vision loss from cataracts is reversible. New techniques developed over the past decade have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful procedures available in terms of restoring quality of life to patients. Each year there are more than 1.6 million of these delicate eye surgeries performed in the United States.

There are no drugs or exercises that will make a cataract disappear, and contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not removed using lasers. Lasers are used in follow-up procedures, if needed. Cataract surgery is most often done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The cloudy natural lens can be replaced with an artificial lens to give the eye proper focusing power. In most cases, the improvement in the patient’s vision is profound.

So how do you know if you have a cataract? Some people notice a gradual painless blurring of vision, double vision in one eye or fading or yellowing of colors. When older patients mention sensitivity to glare and/or bright light or trouble driving at night, this may be caused by cataracts. Or, if a patient needs frequent changes to his or her glasses or contact lens prescriptions, he or she should be examined for a possible cataract.

Eye M.D.s want to dispel the notion that a cataract has to be “ripe” before it’s removed. That’s just not true. The best time to have a cataract removed is when it starts to interfere with the things you like to do.

Cataract surgery, although quite safe, is still surgery. If cataracts don’t affect your quality of life, you may feel that surgery is not needed. The only person who can really decide when it’s time to have them removed is you, under the care of your doctor.

Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all – eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery.

At Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care, our skilled caregivers are available to help you when vision is a stumbling block.

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.

Seniors Often Ignore Local Heat Warnings Cautions Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care of Chester County, Pennsylvania

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(Exton, Pennsylvania) – August 9, 2010 – This summer has been brutally hot across most of Chester County, and while heat alerts warning of specific dangers to the local elderly population are being widely issued – they seem to be largely falling on deaf ears.

A recent study out of Kent State University polling major U.S. cities found that nearly 90 percent of respondents over the age of 65 were aware that heat warnings had been issued in their area, but only half of those people did anything about it. The survey found that most seniors thought the messages were targeted toward “older Americans,” a group to which they did not think they belonged.

According to Chester County senior care experts from Senior Helpers, the fastest growing provider of in-home senior care across the nation, this disconnect can pose a significant problem when temperatures reach dangerous levels – especially for elderly loved ones living on their own.

“It really is a matter of perceived vulnerability, which is a common issue that we all have to face as we get older,” said Colleen Slusarczyk, President of Senior Helpers of Chester County, Pennsylvania (PA). “Nobody wants to admit that they simply aren’t as physically capable of dealing with factors like extreme heat as they once were. This is why it’s so important to have a second set of eyes available to check in on older friends, family and neighbors when temperatures are consistently as hot as they have been.”

“Elderly individuals might not realize they are over-exerting themselves by doing things they used to be able to do easily on their own, even in the middle of the day,” Slusarczyk added.

By taking some very basic precautions, seniors can decrease their potential for heat-related health issues, whether they decide to acknowledge official heat warnings or not.

Top 5 Ways for Local Seniors to Beat the Chester County Heat:

  1. Stay well hydrated – keep drinking water throughout the course of the day, even if you’re not thirsty.
  2. Stay out of the sun – Do chores in the morning and evening, and if you venture out for anything longer than a couple minutes, use plenty of sunscreen.
  3. Keep the shades pulled – closing blinds and curtains can go a long way to keeping the house cool, even in triple digit temperatures.
  4. Hunker down in the afternoon – the hottest part of the day is from 3-5 p.m., and taking a nap or watching a good movie during this time is a great way to pass the most dangerous hours.
  5. Eat plenty, but eat light – heavy foods like lots of meat and cheese tend to make your body work harder to digest them, which uses more water and generates more body heat.

“Seniors are more at-risk than other age groups for most heat-related health problems, but taking these simple steps can reduce the risks dramatically,” says Slusarczyk. “It’s important for seniors to be smart in these hot summer conditions. Having someone available to check on them, even for an hour per day, can make a huge difference.”

Media Contact: Colleen Slusarczyk, (484) 879-6573, COLLEEN@seniorhelpers.com

For more information about Senior Helpers, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227

# # #

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.

Communicating & Cognitive Impairment: 10 Practical Suggestions from Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care of Chester County, Pennsylvania

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What are some of the practical steps you can take to improve your visits or caregiving involving a person who is cognitively impaired? Here are a few suggestions from professional and family caregivers:

1. Begin each visit or conversation by calling the person by name. Sit at his level, at a distance that seems comfortable, moving slowly to avoid startling him. Try to make eye contact before speaking.

2. Speak slowly, clearly, and at a volume appropriate for her hearing ability. Avoid shouting and overstimulation. Keep your messages short enough to fit her attention span; use short, simple sentences.

3. Give him time to organize a thought and respond. Choose open-ended questions that allo w a range of appropriate responses-ones that don’t have to be answered “yes” or “no” or with a specific fact. For example, “What did you do today?” is better than “Did you go out in the garden today?”

4. If you have to repeat yourself, watch to see if it’s best to say the same words exactly as before (so there is only one message to process) or whether it is more helpful to paraphrase or simplify. Similarly, if she is struggling for a word, is it helpful or frustrating to have you supply it?

5. Sometimes it may be appropriate for you to just talk, gauging reactions through visual clues, even if he is unable to organize a response. Just listening to you speak can be a pleasure.

6. The person may appear to be hallucinating or having delusions. This is a time to follow the recommendations of professionals involved in caring for the person. Often, it is best not to try to correct the person’s ideas or perceptions. Instead, focus on the associated feelings the person is experiencing. For example, a person sitting in the doctor’s office reception area may think she is at the airport; rather than repeatedly correcting her, you might say, “It’s getting to be a long wait, isn’t it?”

7. Remember the role of body language. Watch the person’s face and body for changes and reactions. Is she happy, sad, calm, or agitated? Can you pick up positive or negative reactions to a particular topic or activity? Your own body language is important, too. Show interest and involvement by leaning forward a bit.

8. Emotions, which often play a big part in communicating, may produce unpredictable or inappropriate responses. If you are facing emotional or behavior obstacles, discuss the situation with the person’s care professionals a counselor.

9. Don’t overlook the power of touch. Reinforcing pleasant emotions with a touch to the hand or a hug can help the person you are visiting or caring for feel calm, happy, and loved. But monitor the body language of the person to learn whether a hug or other form of physical contact is welcome and appropriate at a particular time.

10. Conversation is not the only-or even necessarily the best-form of communication. A cognitively impaired person may derive enjoyment and a sense of connection just by listening to music or someone reading, or by looking at books, photo albums, movies, or home videos.

Don’t judge the success or value of your communicating in conventional terms. You can’t expect a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of cognitive impairment to follow the usual patterns of conversation. She may not recall what the two of you just did, or even remember who you are. But the time and effort you spend helping her express herself and perceive your love and support can provide important moments of comfort and enhanced well-being.

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.

Senior Helpers In Home Elder Care of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Warns Seniors Not to Fall for The Jury Duty Scam

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he’ll need some information for “verification purposes”-your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.

This is when you should hang up the phone. 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Jury scams have been around for years, but have seen a resurgence in recent months. Communities in more than a dozen states have issued public warnings about cold calls from people claiming to be court officials seeking personal information. As a rule, court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail.

The scam’s bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective. Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to part with some information to defuse the situation.

“They get you scared first,” says a special agent in the Minneapolis field office who has heard the complaints. “They get people saying, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m not a criminal. What’s going on?’” That’s when the scammer dangles a solution-a fine, payable by credit card, that will clear up the problem.

With enough information, scammers can assume your identity and empty your bank accounts.

“It seems like a very simple scam,” the agent adds. The trick is putting people on the defensive, then reeling them back in with the promise of a clean slate. “It’s kind of ingenious. It’s social engineering.”

In recent months, communities in Florida, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, California, Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Hampshire reported scams or posted warnings or press releases on their local websites. In August, the federal court system issued a warning on the scam and urged people to call their local District Court office if they receive suspicious calls. In September, the FBI issued a press release about jury scams and suggested victims also contact their local FBI field office.

In March, USA.gov, the federal government’s information website, posted details about jury scams in their Frequently Asked Questions area. The site reported scores of queries on the subject from website visitors and callers seeking information.

The jury scam is a simple variation of the identity-theft ploys that have proliferated in recent years as personal information and good credit have become thieves’ preferred prey, particularly on the Internet. Scammers might tap your information to make a purchase on your credit card, but could just as easily sell your information to the highest bidder on the Internet’s black market.

Protecting yourself is the key: Never give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited phone call.

How to Avoid Falling Victim to Jury Duty Scams

  • Court workers will not telephone to say you’ve missed jury duty or that they are assembling juries and need to pre-screen those who might be selected to service on them, so dismiss as fraudulent phone calls of this nature. About the only time you would hear by telephone) rather than by mail) about anything having to do with jury service would be after you have mailed back your completed questionnaire, and even then only rarely.
  • Do not give out bank account, social security, or credit card numbers over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call, whether it is to someone trying to sell you something or to someone who claims to be from a bank or government department. If such callers insist upon “verify” such information with you, have them read the data to you from their notes, with you saying yea or nay to it rather than the other way around.
  • Examine your credit card and bank account statements every month, keeping an eye peeled for unauthorized charges. Immediately challenge items you did not approve.

Resources: Common Fraud Schemes | Jury Fraud Press Release (09/28/05) | Executive’s Identity Theft Testimony | FBI

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.

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