Posted by Shirley Cohen under: Opinions; Senior Health.
If you’re a female Boomer and find your hair is not as manageable as it used to be, you’re not alone. A lot of us have taken note that we’re having more and more bad hair days. It wasn’t until recently when I saw this article, Are You Having an Old Hair Day? in last week’s Wall Street Journal that I had the “aha” moment about what’s going on with my hair. The comprehensive story on this subject of aging hair opened many of their readers’ eyes to the facts of life–our hair has been getting old and can no longer be expected to be as thick, full, vibrant and manageable as it used to be.
Years of coloring, blow-drying, hard brushing, pulling back off the face in tight elastic bands, has likely taken its toll. On top of that, quite a bit of the hair that has fallen out of their follicle roots is not replacing itself, and that’s why we notice a thinning of the general mass or volume. Because of this very natural phenomenon, it behooves us to accept the fact that this is the case. We now have to adjust our expectations and routines. While there are a number of things we can do to rejuvenate our scalp and hair, to some extent, with various treatments and nutrient-rich serums, we should also consider adopting styles that accent the positive, are age-appropriate an/or are in keeping with our desire to look well-groomed.
Men seem to get hit with the realities of aging hair a lot sooner than women do. While many men tend to be more resistant to coloring their hair, at the same time, they are quite susceptible to thinning and receding hair—a condition that is a sensitive one for many of them. Eventually combing over the thin areas itself gets old and the urge to shave it all off or down to a very closely-cropped level becomes more and more compelling. Ever since my husband decided to do this, I notice half the men on TV seem to be sporting the “Mr. Clean” look, and it happens to look very good—very fresh and masculine.
Who knows what the future of hair science may hold for us. Weaves are very popular with celebrities who have thin hair but will it ever be a trend for seniors? It’s unlikely, but we shouldn’t rule it out. With all the strides we’re making in health sciences, and with so many seniors expected to live in good health longer, we never know what the future might bring.
This blog article, written by Shirley Cohen, founder and managing executive director of Home Sweet Home Care, is copyrighted 2013.
Posted by Shirley Cohen under: Choosing In Home Caregivers; Senior Commentary; Senior Health; Senior Nutrition; Senior Safety.
Dear friends, clients, and associates,
Getting old sneaks up on you like the fog in Carl Sandburg’s famous little poem by that name.
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking over
harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
It has a way of creeping up imperceptibly, especially when it happens to those of us who are active and who feel healthy and vigorous. But there are telltale signs that pop up one by one, like achy bunions, ropey varicose veins, arthritic fingers and teeth that need to be pulled or replaced with dentures or implants. These are the little signs that tell you that you are entering a new stage in life, one that used to be reserved for other people until the day you realize you’ve arrived and it’s your time to make the very best of it.
There are lots of ways to make the best of it, such as going to the gym or a yoga class or taking daily, vigorous walks, alone or with a friend. There are simple bunion surgeries to schedule or orthotics to get and put into your shoes. These are just some of the issues and solutions that you need to consider and implement to maintain your sense of comfort as you age. By the time you hit 65 you have a closet full of heels you haven’t given away yet but which you rarely wear, you’ve got a head-full of grey hair that so many of us choose to color in order to nurture the illusion of youth a little longer, or, you’ve got to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night more than you remember you ever had to go before.
You now tend to get tired easier and want to get home earlier; you worry more about straining your back and you think more than you ever did about not catching a cold or, worse, the flu. You tend to worry about salt, sugar, fats and calories. You find yourself drinking coffee and alcohol less but tend to talk more, whether people are really listening or not, or whether you’ve told the story before. You reach for names that seem to evaporate into thin air, and you have to watch what you eat to minimize digestive problems.
What to do? Start planning where you want to be when the time comes that you remember less and less, can get around less and less, or can see or hear less and less. You probably don’t want to be living alone in a 5-story walkup or out on a distant suburban hillside when that time comes. It’s time to look for the home and community you want to live in or, alternatively, start to modify the place you have now to your liking and to your anticipated future needs.
Ask for help or input from the people who know you best and care about you. Study your finances and see what it is you can afford. Take a few trips to places that are recommended and see if you can imagine yourself there. Take charge of your retirement. These years can, and should be, the sweetest years of our lives.
Happy Spring! Happy Easter! Happy Passover!
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Shirley Cohen is the Founder and Managing Executive Director of Home Sweet Home Care, a full-service home care aide agency serving the San Francisco Bay area since 1990.
Posted by Shirley Cohen under: Choosing In Home Caregivers; Opinions; Senior Commentary; Senior Health; Senior News; Senior Safety.
One of these days you may wake up to find that you can’t control your urine outflow. Either you’re urinating in your underwear, or, you feel the urge to go the toilet frequently, or you feel the urge to go, but when you get there, your urine outflow is very slow–your bladder takes awhile to empty. Some of us will find that, periodically, we cause a little spillage to escape when we laugh, cough or sneeze. Whichever of these it may be, it is very unsettling to think that you are not in control of this function like you always have been.
Of course, the first thing you’re more than likely to think is that this is a just one-off event. And that will likely be the case for many. For others it will last awhile but then go away as suddenly as it appeared. Those are the lucky ones. For the others not yet ‘old’, they have to make some big adjustments. And they have to start with not being so embarrassed and ashamed of it. This is, of course, easier said than done because for people in their 60′s and early 70′s, it can put a big damper on one’s sex drive, which in turn can have other effects on self-esteem, etc. But for the frail, disabled and/or sick elderly, a good caregiver knows how to deal with this issue quickly, quietly, and nonchalantly so as to not upset the person who requires their assistance.
Professional caregivers who assist seniors with urinary or bowel incontinence are trained how to assist while maintaining the dignity of the individual they’re helping. They keep latex gloves, fresh clean cloths, a laundry bucket, and some fresh underwear and lotion readily accessible in order to minimize any discomfort or humiliation the senior might feel. Of course, most often the people who need such assistance are usually fairly elderly and often dealing with a few different medical conditions that affect their bladder, urethra, urinary tract and/or prostrate gland. So gentleness, kindness, helpfulness, calm and good-humor are key factors to minimizing the event and taking care of it with little fuss or drama.
Then there’s bowel incontinence. The home care aides who care for people with this condition deserve our respect and appreciation. Many aides want to help seniors who can’t control their bowel movements, but just as many prefer not to. It’s the least pleasant task they are called upon to do, yet there is always someone with a loving heart and a kind mind that will make themselves available to manage this. These are often the same people who will help us manage people with moderate to advanced dementia and difficult, combative behaviors, so we really want to take our hats off to them and let them know how much we appreciate what they do, and how we feel that they are truly the unsung heroes of our profession. If it were up to us, we would have a national holiday named in their honor, “Caregiver’s Day”.
Here are some excellent articles for your review if you are dealing with these issues with a loved one: What is Incontinence?, NY Times Incontinence In-Depth Report, Botox Approved for Over-Active Bladder, How to Hide Your Adult Diaper, What Are The Most Absorbent Urinary Incontinence Pads For Women?, Buying Incontinence Supplies For Your Loved One.
We trust these resources will help you manage this kind of care. If, for any reason, you can’t manage the care yourself, and you need professional assistance in the SF Bay area, give us a call. This is something we are very, very good at.
P.S. If you appreciate these helpful guidelines and/or the ones we’ve offered on other topics in the past, please take a moment to ‘like’ us on Facebook or refer us to a person you think might need this kind of professional home care help now or in the not-to-distant future.
Posted by Shirley Cohen under: Opinions; Senior Commentary; Senior Health; Senior Insurance; Senior News; Senior Safety; Seniors Social Security.
If you’ve just started to think about the prospect of retirement, join the club. In fact, so many of us are doing so for many different reasons. Some because we’re Baby Boomers in our late 50’s and early 60’s and that marker on the road of our lives is coming up ahead, some because of personal health issues of theirs or a spouse’s, others because they haven’t done much yet to prepare for the big event and are worried about it. Still others are worried because the cost of living is increasingly higher than they planned for and can’t save, or they’ve been laid off from their jobs and can’t easily find other work.
On top of all this there are lots of other considerations that people are grappling with, not the least of which is what will you do with your time? People need and want engagement but will they get enough engagement by volunteering a little, playing cards once a week with friends and spending more time in the malls? Then there’s the issue of trying to reconcile completely different visions and ideas for retirement with your partner who might want to sail to distant lands when all you want to do is find a little house with a flower garden to tend to in the countryside. Yes, it’s all very worrisome. To make it less worrisome for our readers, we’ve done a lot of research on the subject and want you to set aside some time to really sit down and review the articles which we’ve provided here that speak to all of these concerns.
I’m confident there’s a solution for almost everyone, including the procrastinators and the single mothers and fathers who had to juggle work and parenthood–ideas such as moving to a foreign country where the cost of living is very low. Morocco anyone? Or how about Equador? Without studying the issues and facing the facts and making some plans, we can’t expect to be as prepared as we need to be. And in this uncertain economy, one thing is sure: we’ll need to be very prepared.
Enjoy browsing and studying the facts about what you’re facing in the not-too-distant future. One thing you might find somewhat reassuring from reading the statistics of the various segments facing their retirement now, ready or not, is that, whatever your position along the spectrum of readiness, you’ll be in plenty of good company.